JACKSONVILLE FL - SEPTEMBER 12: Spencer Larsen #46 of the Denver Broncos is tackled by Justin Durant #56 of the Jacksonville Jaguars during the NFL season opener game at EverBank Field on September 12 2010 in Jacksonville Florida. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
Both former Arizona Wildcats have reunited with the New England Patriots. Gronkowski is of course coming off his record-breaking season at tight end, while Larsen signed as a free agent to follow former Denver Broncos' coach Josh McDaniels.
Still, it's hard to get over the fact that Larsen, in his senior year as a linebacker for Mike Stoops, was witnessing the beginning of a then-freshman in Gronk. It's hard to get over because Larsen was old for a senior after taking a Mormon mission before returning to college. He was also married, had a child and was probably a tad more mature than a freshman Gronk, who these days is still known for beer bongs and Zubaz.
Oh, how little some things change.
ESPNBoston's Field Yates caught up with Larsen this past week and it's no surprise that little has changed on the football field either.
On re-connecting with Rob Gronkowski, a former college teammate.
"I joke with him, he was a freshman when I was a senior and it was nice to beat him up in college -- if you guys believe that. It's just been good seeing him and seeing the success he's had and getting to talk with him again. "
What were you impressions of him as a freshman?
"Jst incredible. You've never seen a guy like that. Big, strong. I swear he looks like he does right now as a freshman coming out of high school. I couldn't imagine what he did in high school. He was a good player ... He's one of those guys that comes around that you just feel like man, he's going to be special. So far he's proved that."
Anyway, Larsen will be fighting for a starting fullback spot in McDaniels' offense.
Yates caught up with Stoops to talk about Larsen, who was one of the least-heralded linebackers in recent memory.
"He was very quick. He was quick to the football and quick at the line of scrimmage," said Stoops, who now serves as defensive coordinator at Oklahoma. "Certainly that's a lot what fullbacks have to do -- get on defensive linemen and linebackers very quickly at the point of attack. He's a fearless guy that played downhill as a linebacker and just kind of switched roles up between a linebacker and a fullback. They're similar in a lot of ways."
Stoops also gave Yates a lot of good stuff on the Gronkshow, including the fact that he told Bill Belichick that Gronkowski would be the guy he'd take first if he were starting a football team.