Top offensive tackle recruit Arik Armstead had an in-home visit with the USC Trojans on Thursday, and the highly touted four-star recruit will decided between the Oregon Ducks, the Trojans, the Auburn Tigers, Notre Dame, the California Golden Bears, and the Huskies. Armstead will make his decision tomorrow at 3:00 PM PT at his family’s church.
“He’ll decide between Auburn, Cal, Oregon, Notre Dame and Washington,” Gus Armstead, Arik’s father said. “We had our last home visit Thursday and now we’re just going to sit back and pray on this decision. It has been a long process but it’s coming to an end and I think Arik is ready to put this behind him.”
There isn’t a true frontrunner at this point, and Armstead has kept his options as wide open as it gets. Both ESPN and Rivals view Armstead as a four-star recruit, but Rivals lists him as a strongside DE, while ESPN has him as an offensive tackle. The Elk Grove native is ranked as the 61st best recruit in the country by Rivals and the sixth best SDE, while ESPN sees him as the 3rd best tackle and the 24th best player in the country.
As an offensive lineman, Armstead is a physical 6’7″, 280 pound presence who has incredible strength and can push defensive linemen back to get to the second level. At one point, Armstead committed to the Trojans, but he has since retracted from his commitment.
The Ducks have a shot at recruiting this top talent, and he would be a huge addition to either line. If paired with Dion Jordan, their defensive line would immediately be menacing. If added to beef up the offensive line, Kenjon Barner would have even more room to run, and the new QB would greatly benefit. That is, of course, if he is able to start right away.
However, Armstead is a superior player on the offensive line and is a five-star recruit in Scout.com’s eyes. The site ranks him as the best offensive tackle in the country, and he is certainly one of the top talents out there. He is best suited as an offensive lineman right now, and he has the chance to contribute immediately at the college level with his ability to block for the running back. Arik Armstead has the potential to be an All-American, but he needs to improve his technique.
Strong offensive linemen with long arms are extremely difficult match-ups for opposing linemen, and Armstead’s sheer size, strength, and explosiveness makes him a dangerous player. He is athletic enough to be a top-end talent at tackle, but his technique needs some work. He can start right away with his athleticism, but teams with enough talent at tackle should give him some seasoning for a season.
It seems likely that Arik will join his brother Armond Armstead at USC, but he decommitted once and might not go through with it again. Armstead’s future in college is at tackle, and he just pulverizes defenders and launches them back. He is such an explosive player who gets to the second level with ease, and his size and strength make him a nightmare matchup. Savvy players will expose the flaws in his technique, but he has the raw talent to make up for it. Armstead’s lack of technique will catch up to him against more talented teams, but he will learn and will be one of the top offensive linemen in the country at some point.
There is no way to understate how big of an addition Arik Armstead would be for the Oregon Ducks, and they are hoping to make up for a relatively subpar recruiting haul thus far.
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