Geroux bullish on defense despite highlight-reel notoriety

October 4, 2010 by Les Willsey, AZPreps365

The signature moment  for D.J. Geroux  in his prep football career had to be his unique touchdown reception for Mesa Mountain View against Highland High last season. It was a play that received quite a bit of attention, even nationally on You Tube  for its creativity and spot on execution.

You would certainly not be alone if you thought that. However, it is not the case.

"That play was fun," Geroux , a safety, receiver and return specialist for the Toros, said. "A lot of fun. But not the highlight of my career. Getting chosen all-state, first-team last year on defense by the coaches (association). That's my highlight so far."

Geroux wants to be recognized for his efforts on defense. That's where he played the most in 2009 and believes he plays the best . But the 2010 season has brought added responsibilities for Geroux. Trying to fill the holes left by the graduation of two-year standout Jacom Brimhall, Mountain View has looked Geroux's way. Geroux hardly leaves the field this season as the Toros employ him more on offense than a year ago as a receiver. He's also the primary return man in the kick- and punt-return games.

"I've always liked defense more than offense," Geroux said. "I like to hit rather than be hit. The position I play (free safety), is the funnest. I can go hard at the run, blitz on a pass. There are so many opportunities to make a play." 

Having the chance to be the receiver on the much viewed "Bounce-Pass" TD, was a similar opportunity. Geroux didn't have the toughest role on the Bounce-Pass TD. Or did he?

Quartertback Brad Heap took a couple steps back and flipped a perfect one-hop lateral to receiver Beau Stapley. All Geroux had to do was innocently release from the line of scrimmage and head downfield  There wasn't a defender within 15 yards of Geroux when the pass arrived from Stapley. Dropping that pass? Well it could have been a most embarrassing moment.

"We executed it so well," Geroux said. "I ran past my guy. When it was coming I did think to myself for a second, "I better catch this.".

Geroux has been on the field more than he was last season. At least that was the plan as the season began. That added time, however, has worked to take him off the field for the last two plus games for the Toros.

In Mountain View's 36-16 win over Sunnyside on Sept. 16, Geroux left the game shortly before halftime after a collision with a Sunnyside player on the Toros' kickoff coverage team. A little woosy from that  as the Toros trotted off for their halftime chat, Geroux suffered a concussion.

He missed the last two games - 33-0 and 50-0 wins over Dobson and Corona del Sol, respectively. Mountain View coach Tom Joseph said Geroux will return to the lineup Friday when the Toros host Mesquite in a battle of 5A Central Region unbeatens. Despite missing half of the Toros' five games to date, Geroux stil leads the team in tackles and is tied for the lead in interceptions.

"He does a lot of things for us, more than in the past," Joseph said. "We wanted to give him enough  time (with the concussion) to be ready. Now he is."

Gerroux's father, David, played football (fullback) at USC. Geroux, who is 6-foot-2, 180-pounds, would like to move on to  the next level. Initially, he hoped to follow in his father's footsteps and play for the Trojans. Nothing concrete has emerged yet on the Division I front.  At this point, he's not terribly picky.

"I'd go to any D-I school," Geroux said. "I'd be happy to play college ball anywhere."

Joseph said Geroux is as good as any safety that's played at the school. He's sometimes loud, more outgoing than a lot of players in the program are typically. But those traits haven't been a detriment to the team. He carries himself with confidence rather than a cockiness that was more his style as a freshman and sophomore.

"DJ's very athletic, has great speed," Joseph said. "He's a torpedo. An eye for the ball and great instincts. He is one of the best players at his position in the state. He was last year, too. There's a lot to like about him."