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Arik Armstead commits to Oregon

1/29/2012

Moments ago, Arik Armstead (Elk Grove, Calif./Pleasant Grove) announced at his church he will be playing his college ball at the University of Oregon.

Armstead’s final five also included Auburn, Cal, Notre Dame and Washington. In addition, he took an official visit to Alabama and considered UCLA and USC before making his selection.

Armstead’s recruitment had about as many twists and turns as any player in the West region over the last five years.

He was an early commitment to USC before backing off earlier in the year. There was talk he would sign early and enroll at the same school as his older brother Armond, who is transferring from USC. Throw in the basketball angle, as Armstead plans to double sport in college, and you have a whirlwind recruitment.

Before Cal defensive line coach Tosh Lupoi left for Washington, Armstead seemed like a very solid bet to end up with the Bears. Even late last week, there was talk among a few other 2012 recruits that it looked good for Cal to land Armstead.

Oregon, led by head coach Chip Kelly and linebacker coach Don Pellum, came in for a home visit last week and wowed the family.

Kelly was able to sell the opportunity to play for a national championship right away and Pellum sold Armstead on how he would fit in with the defense.

Ducks basketball coach Dana Altman also played a big role and was almost as active as the football coaches in recruiting the family. Altman and the Armsteads just talked last Friday, and the family was very comfortable Arik would have a legitimate role on the hoops team as well as the football side.

Simply stated, this is a huge pickup for Oregon.

Recruiting elite defensive lineman has been the one area the Ducks have struggled in over the last few years, and in landing Armstead, they’re getting a player who can make an early impact.

While most see the lineman as a better fit on the offensive side of the ball, Armstead was adamant about playing defense, and that is where the Ducks liked him as well.