EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — 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.