The 'other' Gronkowski isn't too shabby

July, 13, 2009
7/13/09
5:43
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Ted Miller

That Gronkowski guy for Arizona is such a beast! Have you seen the guy's numbers?

Got a 3.3 GPA in accounting. Nearly aced the math portion of the SAT, earning a 790 on the old 800 scale.

 
  Chris Morrison/US Presswire
  Chris Gronkowski had 8 receptions for 198 yards and three touchdowns last season.

Oh, you were thinking football. Sorry.

Well, Chris Gronkowski -- older brother to Arizona's All-American tight end Rob "The Beast" Gronkowski -- is no slouch on the athletic end, either.

He's Arizona's H-back and averaged a team-high 24.8 yards per reception in 2008. Sure, he only caught eight passes, but three went for touchdowns, including one in the Las Vegas Bowl victory over BYU.

And don't be surprised if the 6-foot-2, 246-pound senior has a bigger role this year. His versatility allows him to be a fullback, slot receiver or second tight end, and that ability to man multiple positions might help him get an opportunity to play in the NFL.

The elder Gronkowski may not be the natural his brother is, but his strong weight room numbers suggest he's put in the work: 405-pound bench press, 600-pound squat and 345-pound power clean. He runs the 40 in "the low 4.7s."

Hard work and an obsessiveness about fitness run in the Gronkowski family. Besides Rob and Chris, brother Dan played football at Maryland and Gordie Jr., played baseball in college. Father Gordon played guard at Syracuse and now owns a chain of 17 fitness retail stores.

And Dad still hits the weights pretty hard, too.

"He's still pretty big. He likes to show off his arms to us," Chris Gronkowski said. "He's still pretty competitive with that. He's turning 50 [this] week and still looks pretty good for his age."

Chris Gronkowski, who calls Buffalo home, originally signed with Maryland but didn't mesh well with the Terrapins coaches and opted to transfer to Arizona to play baseball. He joined the football team in 2007 and at first played linebacker.

Last year, he and his brother were often on the field at the same time.

"It's real cool," he said. "It's awesome to be running down the field and your brother is next to you. We get to block together sometimes and it's fun to put a guy on his back together."

Of course, Rob Gronkowski, a junior, could be selected in the first round of the 2010 draft. Chris doesn't seem jealous or bothered that his brother overshadows him.

"We've got the same last name, so it kind of helps me out, too," he said. "It puts my name out there too with the press. So it's cool for me. I can't complain about it. I've just got to do what I can to get my name in the paper, too."

And, of course, older brother is always there to help keep Rob humble.

"I get on him every once in a while," Chris said. "He's pretty good about it, though. He doesn't say much. Sometimes he gets out of control and does his touchdown dances and stuff. I can't really argue with him because some of those plays are really nice."

The elder Gronkowski figures to get his share of nice plays next fall, and not just in his accounting classes.

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