Hroniss Grasu is the real deal. Nfldraftscout.com rates him #1 out of 90 junior centers in the country. The PAC-12 coaches chose him as their All-Conference center in 2012, and the Ducks prize his strength and agility so much that he drives and lead blocks for a great percentage of their big plays.
In this video clip, we'll see Grasu first in a series of running plays, all carries by De'Anthony Thomas in last year's home game against Colorado, a game in which the Crenshaw High speedster carried 5 times for 97 yards and a touchdown.
Agile, mobile, hostile: Grasu's agility allows the Ducks to use him pulling and leading their quick running backs at the second level, a skill that makes him a coveted NFL prospect and a fierce weapon in the Oregon offense. (fishduck.com photo)
:33 Fly sweep left from the Colorado 9. Grasu pulls from his center position and screens off the inside linebacker, (#1), allowing De’Anthony Thomas to skip into the end zone.
:49 Inside handoff to Thomas off the fly sweep look. Grasu’s responsibility is to shield off the nose tackle, and he stands him up at the line, creating a crease that DAT turns into a 26-yard gain.
1:02 Twin backs. 1stand 20 from the 13. Stretch play left. Grasu has to slide step and keep the nose off the ball. He stymies the DT, using his hands inside the shoulder pads to keep the defender controlled. 5-yard gain.
1:08 1st and 10 from the 28. Stretch play left, and Grasu pulls and pancakes the contain man, and a seconder defender falls like a domino. 44-yard run.
1:36 2nd and 6. Thomas in motion from the slot. Outside zone read right. Grasu pulling turns 5 yards upfield leading the fastest back in the country. Gets a bead on the safety, taking him down and screening the cornerback out of the play at the same time. 13 yd gain. Ankle tackle saves a TD.
"Fans" of a sport usually follow the ball, as do most of the defenders on any given play. It is rather enjoyable to focus on the individual effort of the bit players like Grasu. In the final analysis, almost no offensive play would be worthy of viewing if not for the excellence in assignment by the "invisible hands" of offensive linemen and a corpse of receivers who do the dirty work in the passing lanes to ensure a clear path to the goal.
Don't you just love it when Hroniss just flattens the LB who's obviously locked onto the ball carrier and doesn't even see the block coming? hehe!
@zduckfan I would expect "a corpse of receivers" to do the dirty work. They must be zombies.
Sorry zduck, I couldn't resist. It's not too often you see a small typo with humorous results.
Oh how precious! Proving once again the evils of posting from a mobile device with autocorrect... #fail
Awesome reply though! :-)
@RustyInHonolulu Especially with a last name like ours. You wouldn't have any ancestors from MT or MN would ya?
@RustyInHonolulu And it's not like the two of you are named John Smith, either :).
@zduckfan Too funny. I've sent some Tweets from my cellphone that would get my college degree revoked. Here's hoping the Duck receiver corps is as relentless as zombies in 2013.