Bruins Offer 2012 Defensive Lineman

Elk Grove (Calif.) Pleasant Grove defensive lineman Arik Armstead, a 2012 prospect, got a verbal offer from UCLA on Monday...

For Elk Grove (Calif.) Pleasant Grove defensive lineman Arik Armstead, going through the recruiting process will be nothing new.

He watched as his older brother, Armond, was recruited as part of the 2008 class, before signing with USC.

While Armstead envisioned himself being recruited one day, he figured it would take more time.

But the soon-to-be sophomore got things started early, when this week, he took an unofficial visit to UCLA and received a verbal offer from the Bruin staff.

"Coach (Todd) Howard had known about me when they were recruiting my brother and he had been talking back and forth with my dad," said Armstead. "We went down to the school and met with him, Coach (Rick) Neuheisel and the rest of the coaching staff and they said they were verbally offering me a scholarship."

Armstead, who going into his sophomore campaign, stands 6-6, 240, said that his offer came as a defensive end, which he'll play for Pleasant Grove this fall.

But he knows with his body type and still more time to grow, ending up on the offensive line isn't out of the questions.

"The coaches said that they'll see how things shake out, but I know if I keep growing that I could probably end up playing offensive tackle," said Armstead.

Armstead said the offer from the Bruins' was a thrill, mainly because it's his first one.

"It kind of told me that good things happen when you work hard," said Armstead. "I like UCLA a lot and it means a lot that they offered me first. It's exciting and I really appreciate what they think of me. They got on me early and that means a big deal to me."

And Armstead thinks it could be the first of many offers he'll get.

"USC told us that they'll want me to come down next year to their Rising Stars Camp because they usually don't offer players until after their sophomore year, so I'll come to their camp and we'll see what happens," said Armstead.

Armstead said he's also interested in Big 12 schools like Oklahoma and Texas, the latter being where much of his extended family is from.

But Armstead also knows he's still 2.5 years away from even being able to sign a letter-of-intent, so he's not trying to rush things. Instead, he's just eager to play his first year of varsity football at Pleasant Grove, after being at Jesuit HS in Carmichael a year ago.

He's also a gifted basketball player, playing for the Bay Area Hoosiers during the summer. His father, Guss, is a renowned basketball trainer in the Sacramento area, and Armstead's favorite sport to play is basketball.

"Basketball is my number one sport and my goal is to play both in college," said Armstead. "We'll see what happens and how things shake out with both sports, but right now, I want to play both sports in college."

Armstead said his brother, Armond, was thrilled for him when he got the offer from the Bruins.

"He was excited for me and happy that I got the offer," said Armstead. "He's definitely been a big help to me and will be a big help for me when I'm getting recruited."

Pleasant Grove opens their 2009 season on September 11th at Stockton Lincoln.

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