O-Line: Big Men Vie to Fill Big Holes
The offensive line for our beloved Ducks was nothing short of spectacular this season. Aside from one marginal performance – the loss to Stanford – the line proved to be one of the most talented groups on our roster. But there are some big holes to fill to open up the big holes for the running backs. The Ducks will see four seniors graduate, all of whom started considerable games. Oregon will look to the fifteen Duck offensive linemen still on the roster to man the trenches next year. With only ten of those fifteen being scholarship players, maybe a walk-on or two will make the starting squad. The Oregon rushing attack that has been outstanding over the last decade will need new big men to contribute and surge as their teammates did in the 2012 season.
Center Hroniss Grasu (junior), along with tackles Tyler Johnstone (sophomore) and Jake Fisher (junior) provide a much-needed anchor for what appears to be a youthful offensive line heading in to the 2013 season. The guards for the 2013 season could be any number of players. Mana Greig (senior), a walk-on from St. Louis high school in Hawaii, may be the most experienced of the group. Hamani Stevens (sophomore), who returned from his Mormon mission during the 2012 summer appears to have the size, if not the reps to become a starter. Redshirt sophomores Jamal Prater, James Euscher and Andre Yruretagoyena have a lot of upside, but have yet to show what they can do in limited game experience this year. Will one of the older offensive linemen like walk-on Trevor Fox have a breakthrough summer camp? Will Everett Benyard finally crack the starting rotation as a senior?
Who knows what the offensive line will look like in 2013. While the Ducks may be thin on experience, there is no shortage of possibilities as to who assumes the two vacant starting spots. And with Steve Greatwood, arguably the best offensive line coach in college football, returning to coach the line for the 22nd year, you have to like the possibilities.