Decision Time For 5-Star After Auburn Visit

Arik Armstead discusses his visit to Auburn, where the Tigers stand, when he plans to make his decision, and much more.

Elk Grove, Cal.—The nation's number two overall prospect took his fifth and final official visit over the weekend to the Auburn Tigers and was impressed by everything he saw from Coach Gene Chizik's program. Now with a decision to make with plans to start school this week, five-star Arik Armstead said Auburn is definitely one of the schools on his radar.

"The visit was good, I had fun down there," Armstead said. "It was my last visit. It was good. I enjoyed it down there. The people are good and they treated me well. It's Cal, Oregon, Notre Dame and there (Auburn). I have a big decision in the next couple of days.

"It's definitely the relationship I have with them," he added of what has Auburn high on his list. "Coach (Curtis) Luper and Coach Pelton and Coach Troop (Trooper Taylor), all of the coaches, I have a good relationship with them. I feel like I can trust them."

Having already visited four schools and wanting to see Auburn after building a strong relationship with the coaching staff, the 6-8, 275 Armstead said there is a lot to like about the Tigers at the moment.

"I have been down South before and it's different than the West Coast," Armstead said. "I enjoyed it down there. I have a good relationship with all the coaches. They have been out to California a lot and I respect them a lot so I wanted to take a look for myself."

While he had gotten a good feel for Auburn's assistant coaches by meeting and talking with them, Armstead said his first extended chance to meet and talk with Chizik went extremely well.

"He's a real good guy," Armstead said. "I have a real good relationship with him. He's very sincere and that's what I'm looking for, sincere coaches and people I can trust. I feel like I can trust Coach Chizik."

Despite being ranked as the number one offensive tackle in the country by, Armstead is being recruited as a defensive lineman by most schools including Auburn. He said his visit gave him a chance to talk to new coordinator Brian VanGorder and also hang out with defensive line coach Mike Pelton, both of whom would play a big part in his life should he choose Auburn.

"I had a meeting with him and talked to him for about 30 minutes," Armstead said. "(Coming from the NFL) is very appealing. He knows what it takes to get to that level. If I go there he'll be able to help me. He knows the ins and outs of it. That's what I want to do, play in the NFL.

"We didn't talk too much about the system," he added. "I know they run a 4-3 and I could play three-technique or end. He hasn't seen my film yet, but I talked to Coach Pelton. I don't know exactly end or tackle yet, but we talked about it."

Basketball will also factor into Armstead's decision as he plans to play both sports on the next level. Because of that he said he got the opportunity to talk with Coach Tony Barbee and also watch the Tigers practice on Friday. He saw the first half of Auburn's win over Ole Miss on Saturday before leaving early to finish an online course.

That's perhaps the most important thing Armstead did over the weekend as he has finished his requirements to graduate early and will now choose a school to attend and begin classes this week. He said even though some schools have already started it's in the works and he's prepared wherever he may choose to go.

"If I go there I'll probably be back there on Tuesday," Armstead said. "I'm just looking for that balance between basketball and football and also a city I could see myself living in. It's also the relationship I have with the coaches who I will be with most of my time there."

Backing up the claims that he had already enrolled at California, Armstead said it's not the only school he's gotten ready to attend just in case that's where he chooses to go. Making the decision and enrolling that quickly has made him get prepared so he can hit the ground running no matter where he is.

"I'm enrolled," Armstead said. "I just took the precaution. I'm probably already enrolled at Auburn too. Because I'm graduating early I had to get the stuff done before my decision. I think Notre Dame got their stuff too along with Cal and I talked to Coach Chizik and he said if I wanted to I could be in school there on Tuesday."

Hosted by Auburn freshman defensive tackle Gabe Wright, Armstead said he enjoyed hanging out with the players and he's intrigued by the youth on the Tigers' defense coming back for 2012. That's just something else he said he'll have to consider when making a decision, a decision that will come quickly for the All-American.

"I'm going to sit down with my parents and pray about it and talk about it," Armstead said. "We'll see how things go. I have a lot of stuff to think about. I'm going to talk about it with my family.

"(Distance from home) it could affect them and they probably couldn't see me play in person as much, but they want what is best for me. It's a three to four-year decision for me. It's my decision and where I feel happy. If they have to not watch me as much or watch me on TV then they can make the sacrifice."

Inside The AU Tigers Top Stories