With only two days left until the commencement of the 101st Rose Bowl, the Ducks have been utilizing the last couple of days to recap their game plan come kickoff. This especially includes sharpening things on the defensive side of the ball in order to stop “Famous” Jameis Winston from controlling the game. On the offensive side, one of the biggest issues that has plagued Oregon throughout the season is the health of its offensive line. Sadly, the litany of downed defensive line starters has included two-time All-American center Hroniss Grasu, who suffered a devastating leg injury against Utah on November 8th.
Last Sunday, it was reported by multiple sources that Grasu, along with RB Thomas Tyner, participated in a full pads practice. While Tyner is definitely expected to play in the College Football Playoff semifinal against Florida State, Grasu’s status remains up in the air.
On his first day back, the big center didn’t partake in every drill, sitting out many of of them while his replacement, Hamani Stevens, stepped in. Even though Oregon has been undefeated since his injury, Grasu serves as a pivotal element not only on the Ducks offensive line, but also for the team generally as a respected veteran leader.
Grasu spoke with the media at Disneyland’s California Adventure Park on Saturday, repeatedly talking about the possibility of playing in the Rose Bowl and how important it is for him to finish his career with Oregon on a strong note. Although Andrew Grief of oregonlive.com reported Grasu has insisted he’ll play no matter the circumstances, the chance of that being a reality is unknown.
Will the All-American senior really play on New Year’s day? All we know is that Grasu is dedicated to his team and will do anything in his power to play on Thursday. There’s no doubt in my mind that if Grasu is given the go-ahead on game day, he’ll definitely partake in the showdown. Although Oregon needs him on the offensive line as a veteran, all of us must have confidence in backup center Stevens, who’s been performing excellently as his replacement. At the end of the day, if Grasu doesn’t play and the Ducks end up winning, there’s always the BCS National Championship against either Ohio State or Alabama on January 12th to look forward to.
Top Photo by Craig Strobeck