Nation's Top Prospect Talks Irish Interest

Pleasant Grove High (Elk Grove, Calif.) offensive tackle Arik Armstead, the nation's top-rated recruit, is committed to USC but thinking about making visits. Notre Dame is talking to him, but is something set? Armstead spoke to IrishEyes.com about his recruitment, his interest in the Irish, and how basketball will factor into his decision.

The nation's No. 1 prospect continues to be recruited heavily by Notre Dame, and he is checking his schedule and contemplating a fall official visit.

Offensive tackle Arik Armstead of Pleasant Grove High (Elk Grove, Calif.) added he remains committed to USC, where he will visit officially, and is considering visits to Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Miami and Nevada as well as by the Irish.

"I'm considering a few places, but nothing is set in stone yet," the 6-foot-8, 275-pound Armstead said. "(Notre Dame) might be an option, but I'm trying to look at my schedule to see what is doable. I'm still committed to ‘SC. I told them when I first committed I was going to take visits, so they're not too worried about it."

However, any official visit won't be solely based on the desire to get a free trip and watching a game.

"The schools I'm thinking about taking trips to are schools that are recruiting me pretty hard." Armstead said. "I've been hearing about how special some places are, and I just want to get out and see it for myself."

Among the programs showing Armstead the most interest is Notre Dame, a place he tried to visit in the summer when his AAU basketball schedule took him to Indianapolis. Those summer plans fell through, but the Irish continue to recruit him hard.

"They're showing me a lot of interest," Armstead said. "(Assistant) coach (Mike) Denbrock and coach (Brian) Kelly are talking to me about the program."

A big factor in Armstead's recruitment is his desire to also play basketball, and while he is talking with the Irish's football staff about it, he is yet to speak with Irish basketball coach Mike Brey about the possibility of playing both sports.

"I know the football program has been talking to him about me, but I haven't had a conversation with him yet," Armstead said. "That's something I plan on doing."

So, does Armstead get the sense he would be able to play basketball with the Irish?

"Not right now," he said. "I haven't had the chance to sit down and talk with them. That will be another factor in my decision, if I want to take a visit there."

Armstead is looking at Nevada and Arizona as basketball schools, and he already had numerous discussions with Trojans coach Kevin O'Neill about playing basketball, and is more than comfortable with what he is hearing.

"They love me," Armstead said. "They're talking about coming down my freshman year and playing big minutes, maybe even starting."

Armstead wants to make his official visits during the season because he plans on graduating early and enrolling in college in January.


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