Prospect Spotlight-HB Adam Gerin

Gather 'round, children--I have a tale to tell.  This is a tale about the peculiar geographic region known as the Rust Belt--that stretch of hulking metropolises around the Great Lakes, many of which are still, to borrow an athletic term, in full rebuild mode.  Believe it or not, there was once a time where these cities were the heartbeat of these United States, the jewels in the crown of a burgeoning empire.  Arguably, the greatest of these was Detroit, Michigan.  No one city contributed to America's motor power and new, highway-aided society quite like Detroit, and no one city suffered so greatly in its decline.

In those days, an expectation was formed for the citizen of that great American experiment, the Detroit Man.  He was hard-working, rugged, broad-shouldered, and loyal to a level somewhere between romantic devotion and religious fervor--to his city, to his family, to his friends, to his union, to his home.  A romantic vision, to be sure, but not born wholly in a vacuum.

For all the world, Michigan State running back Adam Gerin appears to be the quintessential Detroit Man for the modern era.  While his birth certificate reads that he was born May 23rd, 1996, in a now-consolidated hospital just across the border in Windsor, Ontario, Canada, he grew up in Big D, and almost everything about him says it so.  Need proof?  Take a look at the game film--October 17th, 2013, to be precise.

The Garden City Cougars lead the Dearborn Edsel Ford Thunderbirds, 20-17, with 25 seconds to play in a critical conference game.  The Thunderbirds break the huddle and take over at their own 36 yard line.  There is an air of nervousness on the offensive side of the ball, and for good reason--on the previous play, senior running back Kolby Lanford's helmet was torn off after being swarmed by a trio of hard-hitting Cougar defenders.  This forces him off the field for one play only--3rd and 3, with the season on the line.  A few first downs in quick succession, and the coach would feel right to call for a field goal and try for overtime.  As a singleback trey formation takes shape, Gerin, then a little-used junior back, fills in about 3 yards behind the quarterback.  Typically used only in jumbo packages, he takes the field for the most important down of his career thus far.  Quarterback Omar Hazrif takes the handoff, takes two steps towards the strong side, and stuffs the ball deep into the back's breadbasket.  The Cougar defensive end, Raquan Ballard, breaks through the battered Thunderbird line and connects with Gerin a yard behind the line.

Typically, the play would end here.  The back would strain to get back to the line of scrimmage, the coach would dial up a play for 4th and short, and we'd never hear of Adam Gerin again.  Today has not been a typical day for the Thunderbird offense.  The rocksteady Lanford's been held to under 70 yards rushing, the usually efficient Hazrif is 12-for-26 for an unremarkable 128 yards and 2 costly interceptions, and the Thunderbirds have only played 4 downs inside enemy territory since halftime.  Today would continue to not be typical.

Gerin shakes loose from Ballard's arm tackle and reverses field, breaking the line of scrimmage.  He hurdles over the outstretched arm of a diving defender.  Cougar cornerback Chase Uttley steps up to make the stop...and Gerin promptly runs him over in stride.  Star linebacker Anderson Hayes gives pursuit.  Gerin adjusts his route ever-so-slightly, making the linebacker miss him entirely with an inside juke.  Soon the Cougars--and the Thunderbirds--are in panic mode.  Why won't he be stopped?  Why won't he stop?  The coaches scream for him to stop as time melts off the clock--they need time to assemble the kicking team, after all.  A stiff-arm stuffs another defender into the turf as he crosses the Cougar 35 yard line.  Gerin makes a cut and reverses field again, his eyes fixed on the end zone.  Gerin bowls over another Cougar before he's smashed on both sides by Cougar safeties.  That would be the end.  Except...except his legs keep churning.  He throws both would-be tacklers off of him and crosses the Cougar 10.  Hayes finally catches up to him at the 3 yard line as time runs off the clock.  Gerin's legs keep churning.  The two young men struggle for control.  With an air of finality, he leaps forward and, dragging Hayes with him, collapses into the endzone.  The visiting crowd goes bananas.  Cougars 20, Thunderbirds 23.

From this moment on, Adam Gerin was a star.

This sort of never-say-die, shop-wrecking, hard-nosed, rugged, dogmatically devoted running play would come to define his career at Michigan State.  Lauded as much for the yardage he gained as for the hammering way in which he did it, Gerin is a runner feared by many and admired by more.  While gaining a career high 287 yards against Kent State in 2017, Adam completely broke the will of the Golden Flash defense.  Substitute defenders peeled away from him in the 4th quarter as he put up a rushing day that landed third on MSU's single game rushing record list, so hesitant were they to draw contact with him.  While his single-season rushing record of 1,375 yards fails to crack the top 10 at MSU, his lifetime total of 3,352 yards gained and 30 touchdowns scored wedges him directly between Spartan greats T. J. Duckett and Le'veon Bell on both all-time lists.

After a senior campaign that saw him split snaps as part of coach Mark Dantonio's new scheme, Gerin caps his career as a Spartan with a stunning 27-21 victory over USC in the Rose Bowl, gaining 121 yards on the ground and slotting a crucial score in the 3rd quarter.  Now more than ever, Adam Gerin looks ready to conquer the professional ranks, electing to choose the RFL for his future in the sport after receiving little interest from his hometown Detroit Lions.  Adam Gerin sets his broad shoulders towards the sun...and carries his city on his back...as the RFL draft approaches...

Written by:  Fireproof Lowlife

7/12/19

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