Sports

C Hroniss Grasu returns to lead No. 3 Oregon's offense

This photo taken Nov. 23, 2013, shows Oregon offensive linesman Hroniss Grasu (55) during the first half of an NCAA football game against Arizona, in Tucson, Ariz. Grasu never would have played football if his parents had their way. Steve and Mariana Grasu, immigrants from Romania, preferred soccer over American football, which that saw as too violent. It was only reluctantly that he was allowed to kick for his high school team, and when a coach put him on the offensive line, well, he didn't exactly mention it to his folks. It was a long, silent ride home when the Grasus attended their son’s first game. "They enjoy it now. They come to every single game, home and away,’’ he laughs.(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

This photo taken Nov. 23, 2013, shows Oregon offensive linesman Hroniss Grasu (55) during the first half of an NCAA football game against Arizona, in Tucson, Ariz. Grasu never would have played football if his parents had their way. Steve and Mariana Grasu, immigrants from Romania, preferred soccer over American football, which that saw as too violent. It was only reluctantly that he was allowed to kick for his high school team, and when a coach put him on the offensive line, well, he didn't exactly mention it to his folks. It was a long, silent ride home when the Grasus attended their son’s first game. "They enjoy it now. They come to every single game, home and away,’’ he laughs.(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)  (The Associated Press)

Oregon senior center Hroniss Grasu never would have played football if his parents had their way.

Steve and Mariana Grasu, immigrants from Romania, preferred soccer over American football, which they saw as too dangerous.

But lucky for Oregon the Grasus eventually gave in and allowed their son to play. Now a senior, Grasu is unquestionably the No. 3 Ducks' anchor, according to quarterback Marcus Mariota.

Grasu, who is 6-foot-3 and just shy of 300 pounds, is considered one of the best players at his position in the nation, and he's on the preseason watch lists for the Outland and Rimington trophies.

He leads a strong group of linemen that helped Oregon lead the Pac-12 in rushing, scoring and total offense last season.