Sophomore center Hroniss Grasu enters a spring in which he'll need to be a leader for the Oregon offensive line both through his play and vocally. With senior guard Carson York out following knee surgery to repair an injury suffered in the Rose Bowl, Grasu figures to have new faces at both guard positions in April.
He benefited last year from the veterans (York and Mark Asper) on either side of him, but that luxury is gone, requiring another step in Grasu's maturity into a veteran. The only other guy who provides much in the way of experience is senior Nick Cody, who stepped into the starting lineup and solidified it early last season. Cody is an earnest, vocal guy, a great makeup for potential leadership. And he can play a little, too, as he more than showed last fall.
• Josh Huff plead not guilty to DUII and two other charges yesterday in Eugene Municipal Court.
• Rana L. Cash of The Sporting News looks at five players who are vying to make an impact as true freshman. Among them is Arik Armstead.
Arik Armstead, at 6-8 and 290 pounds, was the most coveted defensive line prospect in the nation. He committed to USC, then, like De’Anthony Thomas last year, switched to Oregon. The Ducks can only hope—and practically bet—that Armstead will have as much of an impact as Thomas did in 2011 as a true freshman. He could be the ideal replacement for Terrell Turner.