It's never over in the world of high school recruiting.
It was only two weeks ago that Armond Armstead announced he would be leaving USC with the intention of playing out his final season of college eligibility at another school. It was Armond’s goal to play next year with his brother Arik Armstead, a top recruit who had once been committed to the Trojans.
The reasons for Armond’s departure and Arik’s decommit from USC have been well documented, involving an undisclosed medical condition which did not allow Armond clearance to play in 2011.
There were several schools mentioned as candidates to land the brothers, from Pac-12 rival California to national rival Notre Dame. There were trips to Auburn and in-home visits with Oregon. It had gotten to the point where there was just no indication at all that the brothers were still considering USC.
Then news came a few days ago that Armond would be taking graduate school classes at USC in the spring, even though he was still planning to transfer to another school in the fall. Arik then announced that he would not be enrolling at a chosen school in the spring, which was his longtime plan. Arik gave a lot of reasons why he would be delaying his decision, which all made sense, but now comes the news that the Armsteads have granted Lane Kiffin’s request for an in-home visit.
Does this mean the Trojans are back in it? It’s probably too early to say that. It would be fair to say that this news means they aren’t completely out of it, but there are still a lot of variables in play before a conclusion presents itself.
The primary question still remains, “Will Armond be medically cleared?” So far he hasn’t been cleared by USC or any other school. Arik has time right now to wait and see how that situation plays out between now and signing day, and Kiffin will use that time to remind the family of what it liked about USC in the first place.
The family has always maintained throughout the whole saga that they were fine with Kiffin and the USC coaches. It also says something that Armond would want to continue taking classes at USC even as he casts an eye toward playing elsewhere. There was a similar situation last year with Brice Butler, a player who had thoughts of leaving but enjoyed being a USC student too much to pull the trigger at the time.
Butler eventually found his way back to the team and USC fans are hoping a similar path can be followed for Armond -- with Arik following right behind him.