Gerhart commits to Lebanon Valley College

By on March 15, 2017
Senior linebacker Tyler Gerhart, who led Warwick’s defense in tackle points in his junior and senior seasons, will continue his football career as an outside linebacker at Lebanon Valley College. Lititz Record file photo

Senior linebacker Tyler Gerhart, who led Warwick’s defense in tackle points in his junior and senior seasons, will continue his football career as an outside linebacker at Lebanon Valley College. Lititz Record file photo

Tyler Gerhart hadn’t yet committed to Lebanon Valley College.

Still, when the Warwick senior was on campus for an overnight visit, he felt like he belonged with the Dutchmen football team.

“When I got up there, it wasn’t like I’m just some new guy coming in,” Gerhart remarked. “I felt part of the team already.”

That experience helped to seal the deal for the Section One First-Team All-Star linebacker, who made it official with LVC on the final day of February. He was recruited to play outside ‘backer for the Dutchmen, where he will join former Warwick stars Tommy Garner, Austin Maguire, Tyler Melhorn and Adam Wagaman.

“I can’t wait,” said Gerhart, whose recruiting class also includes Manheim Central’s Kody Kegarise and Tyler Lutz. “They were always really my top kind of school from the start, and having a lot of Warwick guys up there is going to be nice because I’m going to know people. I’ve always felt comfortable there.”

Misericordia University, near Wilkes-Barre and Scranton, was recruiting Gerhart as well. The Cougars contacted him following the spring of his junior year, and initially — when he was leaning toward a major in physical science — Misericordia wasn’t a serious contender.

But Gerhart eventually changed his major to criminal justice and Misericordia, offering a National Law and Security field of study, entered the mix.

“That really had my attention,” Gerhart said, “and really kinda moved them up on the scale.”

Not enough, though, in the end to catch LVC

“It felt like home as soon as I got there,” he said. “It always had that special feeling that I was going to be there for the next four years of my life.”

Warrior coach Bob Locker believes Lebanon Valley is a great fit for Gerhart.

“Absolutely. Educationally, it’s an outstanding school,” Locker said, “I have a lot of respect for their football program and I think it’s a place he can go to play and be successful.”

Gerhart got a taste of Saturdays at LVC in his junior year, and then again this past fall during a game day visit. The Dutchmen, under first-year head coach Joe Buehler, finished 4-5 in in 2016 in Middle Atlantic Conference play, but won their final three games over Misericordia, FDU-Florham and Albright College.

“It was a lot of fun to be with the guys and see what the team was like,” Gerhart said.

Lebanon Valley College’s defense will get a shot in the arm from Gerhart, who led Warwick in tackle points in both his junior (89) and senior (121) seasons, with two fumble recoveries, two INTs, and two blocked passes.

Listed at 6-foot-3, 198 pounds on the Warriors’ 2016 roster, his size is a strength. So is his knowledge of the game, helping Warwick finish 8-3 and return to the District Three playoffs last fall.

“I would say how tall I am (is a plus), my quickness to get around the edge, but yet big enough to where I can come inside and make a tackle between the tackles,” Gerhart said.

Locker agreed.

“(Tyler)’s always had the height, and in the last year, he started to develop in terms of muscular size,” Warwick’s coach said. “I think given a year or two with a college lifting program, he’ll put on some more good weight and get more muscular. And the thing that transfers (from high school), because you can’t really teach it, is the willingness to hit and be aggressive, and he certainly is that. This past year, he had a tremendous season.”

The Dutchmen will open their 2017 season on Aug. 31 hosting Franklin & Marshall College in a non-conference battle in Annville. For Gerhart, it will be the start of a new chapter in his career.

“Like I said,” Locker commented, “his size (is a strength), put a little weight on, he’s an aggressive football player and you can enhance that, but you can’t teach that. I think it’s a place he can go and thrive.”

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