Two-way lineman Arik Armstead (Elk Grove, Calif./Pleasant Grove) took his third official visit two weeks ago to Oregon. With home visits and two more official trips to take, his schedule couldn’t be much more hectic.
Armstead, the No. 15 ranked player in the nation and the top player in the West, had previously visited Notre Dame and Alabama and the Oregon visit is the only one he’ll take on the West Coast.
“I really liked it a lot,” Armstead said. “I can’t say one trip was better than another but the visit to Oregon was probably where I was most comfortable. I think that’s mostly because I was familiar with the coaches and some of the players and plus being on the same time zone played a part too.
“I really got to see a lot and do a lot. I took a campus tour and saw the athletic facilities, which are incredible. I talked with all the football coaches but Gary Campbell and the defensive line coach, Coach Azz [Jerry Azzinaro) are the ones I spent the most time with.
“They run an interesting scheme at Oregon and rotate a lot of defensive lineman. Basically, you play six plays and then sit for three and everyone rotates in and out to stay fresh. They also talked about how they love my size and how they use tall defensive ends in their scheme and I saw that first hand. It was a tough loss for Oregon but the game atmosphere was incredible and I loved the fan support and how passionate everyone was.”
Prior to the game, Armstead was able to talk with basketball coach Dana Altman and then attend the Ducks hoops game on Sunday.
“That was real nice too,” Armstead said. “I met Coach Altman on the sideline before kickoff just to say hello and chat a little. Then on Sunday, I watched the basketball game and I can really see myself fitting in well there too. I like how they feed the post and I think the basketball program is definitely recruiting well and going in the right direction.
“When the game was over, I met with Chip Kelly again to go over some more things and just talk about how the visit went and what I thought. I really like Oregon a lot and I think it’s a great fit for me. I still have two more visits to take and right now, all three schools are right there and I don’t have a leader among that group.”
Armstead’s next visit will be to Texas (Dec. 9) and he’ll visit Auburn sometime in December as well.
“I was supposed to visit Auburn this weekend but I have a game and a ton of family in town visiting,” Armstead said. “We talked with Gene Chizik and he understood. He wanted me there for the big game with Alabama but said it might be even better to get me on campus during Bowl week and watch how the team prepares.
“I’m also scheduling home visits right now and Notre Dame will be in next Monday. I’m also talking with Cal, USC, Washington and UCLA about home visits in addition to the schools I visited. I have a good relationship with Tosh Lupoi at Cal and two players who start on the basketball team, Allen Crabbe and Richard Solomon played on my AAU team so I know them really well. Washington is cool and is strong in both sports and UCLA and USC are both great schools that I have visited multiple times and I’m very comfortable with them.”
Armstead said his plan is to graduate early and would like to make his decision sometime in December if he can. If not, he’ll hold off and won’t force a decision just to graduate early.