Ducks In Thick Of It For Nation's Top Recruit

Once thought to be an iron clad verbal commit to USC, Elk Grove (CA) Pleasant Grove five-star defensive lineman Arik Armstead has recently reopened his recruitment and is strongly considering one of the Pac-12's preeminent powers.

Do you currently have an offer from Oregon?


You were once a verbal commit to USC. Since opening up your recruitment, what kind of contact have you had with Oregon?

"I actually just recently today talked to the defensive line coach -- coach Azz (Jerry Azzinaro) -- and I had a good conversation with him."

Is this a new relationship that you've started with coach Azz, or had you been in contact with him prior to opening up your recruitment?

"This is new. They weren't really recruiting me while I was committed."

Is coach Azzinaro the only coach from Oregon that you've had contact with?

"(Running backs) coach (Gary) Campbell as well. My dad talked to him."

With coach Azzinaro being your primary recruiter, is Oregon recruiting you for defensive line?

"Yeah, yeah...they want me to play defensive line."

Have they specified whether or not they like you at defensive end or defensive tackle?

"I know they run a 3-4 and a 4-3, so they say I'm versatile and can play multiple positions...I have no preference. Like I said, they run a 3-4, 4-3, so I'm sure they'll be moving me around."

Even though they're a new school that's emerged for you, what is your overall interest in Oregon?

"I'm interested in gathering information (on them) and going through the process and trying to feel what is the best fit for me. I'm sure they're going to continue recruiting me and we'll see how it goes from there."

What is it about the school and the football program that has you interested in Oregon as a potential option?

"They have an excellent program up there, they've been constantly winning and that's something that I would like to be a part of."

Have you set up anything with Oregon as far as official visits go?

"I haven't set up an official there yet, but I'm thinking about setting up my visit soon and trying to see if it will work out with my schedule, so I'm in the process of setting things up."

How would you describe yourself as a player?

"I'm a versatile defensive lineman. I stop the run, I like to get after the passer, I have a quick first step, I'm athletic and can play in the passing lanes and use my long arms to swat down balls."

Is there a guy at the collegiate or professional level that you try to pattern your game after?

"Yeah, I study a lot of the taller defensive linemen. I watch a lot of film on guys like Julius Peppers and Albert Haynesworth -- he's 6'6'' -- and a lot of the taller guys that fit my body type and my playing style. I watch them and try to learn things."

You've been projected to possibly play on the offensive side of the ball. Do you have a preference when it comes to playing offense or defense?

"Yeah, I want to play defense."

What are you looking for in a program?

"Definitely someone who wants me for basketball and football and a city I can see myself living in. Also, a good relationship with my position coach and a good school with academics (is important)."

Have you spoke with coach Dana Altman from Oregon about possibly playing basketball?

"No. I was supposed to talk to him tonight and I haven't talked to him yet, but I'm sure I'll talk to him soon."

Have you given any thought as to what you might want to study once you get to college?

"Yeah, I want to study something along the lines of business and marketing and sports management. Something like that."

What other schools are you considering right now?

"A lot of the schools recruiting me heavily right now are Cal, Washington, Oregon, USC, Texas, Oklahoma, Alabama, Auburn, Michigan, Miami...there's a lot of schools."

Of the schools recruiting you, do you have any favorites or anything like that at this point?

"No, not really. I'm just taking everything in and seeing where I could fit in best and I'll take my official visits to see what I find out."

Are you looking to stay close to home or are you open to going wherever?

"Distance won't play a factor in my decision."

As far as official visits go, where have you been and do you have anything scheduled out for the future?

"I went to Notre Dame this past weekend and I'm going to Alabama next week on the 5th (of November)."

Arik Armstead profile

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