Armstead finds the total package in Oregon

Elk Grove (Calif.) Pleasant Grove defensive lineman Arik Armstead found that Oregon has everything he was looking for in a school.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Before he announced his commitment Sunday afternoon at The House Christian Church, Elk Grove (Calif.) Pleasant Grove defensive lineman Arik Armstead took several minutes to explain why he considered each of the six schools that made up his list of finalists.

Armstead spoke of his friendship with Auburn's coaches, his connection with new Washington defensive line coach Tosh Lupoi, Notre Dame's national exposure, USC's prestige and familiarity, Cal's proximity and how UCLA was the first to offer him.

But whereas each program had one or a handful of selling points, only Oregon could offer Armstead everything he was looking for.

The chance to play defense? Check.

"I'm going to play D-line," he said. "They are going to run a 3-4, which was also big for my decision."

The chance to play basketball? Check.

"They feel like I can come in and help the basketball team too," he said.

"They evaluated Arik early in the summer and Coach (Dana) Altman felt like Arik really fit in with his high-post offense in being a skilled big guy that can use his body and knock down some shots," Armstead's father Guss said.

Academics? Check.

"Oregon is an excellent school," Arik said. "I want to study sports business and sports marketing and Oregon has the best sports marketing program in the country.

"If things didn't happen and I didn't take it to the NFL or NBA – or both – I have a fallback plan. They have a whole bunch of connections to Nike. I could easily see myself having a job there."

The chance to make an immediate impact? Check.

Armstead will enroll in March and participate in spring practice.

"I expect to come in and fight and hope to compete and earn some playing time. That's all I can do," he said.

What also stood out, according both to the five-star standout and his father, was the approach Oregon took in recruiting the No. 2 overall player in the Class of 2012.

"They never bad talked any other program," Arik said. "They simply explained and expressed a need for me in their program and how I would fit in. They pretty much recruited me without recruiting me. They just laid everything on the table and spoke the good about their program. I was happy with how I see myself fitting in there."

Both father and son praised the honesty of Oregon head coach Chip Kelly, especially after he was nearly lured away by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers one week earlier.

"He couldn't guarantee me that he was going to be there my whole career. He was in the same situation as me, being recruited and having so many options," he said.

"He was candid," Guss Armstead said of Kelly. "Arik is a really bright, articulate kid and he asked the really tough questions of all the coaches.

"I think it came down to the last day and Arik just felt like he fit better with Oregon. In discussion with Coach Kelly and Coach Azz (Jerry Azzinaro), the D-line coach, there was just a comfort level that kind of overcame him right there at the end."

Dan Greenspan is the publisher of Cal Sports Digest and covers the Pac-12 for Fox Sports/Scout.com. Follow him on Twitter @DanGreenspan.


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