For the Ducks, there is exactly 10 days between now and the season opener against Nicholls State. Fall camp 2013 is coming to a close and that means starters are beginning to be finalized.
But just because the depth chart is close to where it needs to be on opening day, that doesn’t mean there aren’t still some questions pertaining to how the offensive line will hold up after losing Carson York and Kyle Long.
However, the Ducks return junior offensive linemen, Hroniss Grasu and Jake Fisher, both of whom will be looked at to anchor the offensive line this year. In addition to returning Grasu and Fisher, the Ducks will also have some important decisions to make in regards to finding a way to incorporating players like Everett Benyard, Karrington Armstrong and Hamani Stevens. All of these players will have to raise their level of play this next season if they wish to compete for a national championship, which is something Grasu seems confident about.
Finishing Up Fall Camp
“It’s crazy that three weeks went by so fast,” Grasu said. “We have that scrimmage tomorrow, make your evaluations from there and then start getting ready for Nicholls State.”
“Every day I’m just trying to get better,” Grasu said. “Become a better leader, a more vocal leader and technique wise, always try and get the proper footwork and lead my guys on the offensive line. So far I think we’ve been doing a good job.”
While Grasu isn’t known to be the loudest guy in the locker room, he feels like he is vocal during the game. But Grasu definitely feels like there is still room for improvement in regards to stepping up as a vocal leader.
“On the field I’m usually a loud person; I kind of have to be because of the nature of my position,” Grasu said. “But I’m talking more off the field and when I’m not in the game on the sideline helping the younger guys out, being more vocal, that’s where I’ve been trying to step it up.”
A New Line of Men
“Young guys have been doing a good job,” Grasu said. “It’s always a tough first fall camp for them, but so far, I think they’ve been holding up really well. As far as our guards, we’ve got to step up.”
“I’m really proud of them,” said Grasu in reference to the new linemen. “They’ve all come a long way and finally got their shot to start.”
Grasu was particularly pleased with the level of effort the offensive line has been giving and feels like they are headed in the right direction as a group.
“Our effort is definitely there,” Grasu said. “We give maximum effort everyday and now we have to take that effort, put it into football form as far as technique and getting on our proper assignment. But our effort is there. Obviously you can get more physical, but so far I’m really happy with this group.”
Bonding Off the Field
“A lot of guys come over to my house,” Grasu said. “I got a pool table, I live with Jake Fisher, Jamal Prater and Blake Stanton. They come over, we play a lot of pool and we even got a hut tub, but I think only one of us can fit in there,” Grasu said. “But other than that, we golf a lot and just try and spend time with each other.”
Grasu along with his new group of offensive linemen will naturally need some time to gel as a unit, but with the amount of experience and depth the position currently holds, the Ducks look to be in good hands. Both Grasu and Fisher still have one year remaining, so they can only continue to improve and lead this new offensive line to the level of a national championship contender.