Tag:Armond Armstead
Posted on: January 29, 2012 6:27 pm
Edited on: January 29, 2012 10:30 pm
 

Five-star DE Armstead chooses Oregon

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

One of the class of 2012's elite defensive linemen has made his choice--and it's very, very good news for Chip Kelly.

Five-star recruit Arik Armstead announced Sunday afternoon he will be signing with Oregon, turning down offers from Cal, Notre Dame, Auburn and a dozen other top programs nationwide. A 6'7", 285-pound strongside end from Pleasant Grove High School in Elk Grove, Calif., Armstead ranks No. 16 on the 2012 Maxpreps top 100 and No. 3 on Tom Lemming's list of the class's top 25 defensive ends.

Armstead has reportedly looked into the possibility of playing alongside his brother Armond Armstead, who is looking to transfer from USC -- to whom Arik originally committed -- and has one year of eligibility remaining. But with Armond unlikely to obtain a waiver to play immediately, Auburn and Notre Dame saw their chances dim, reportedly leaving the Ducks and Bears as Arik's finalists with Washington (and new ace recruiter Tosh Lupoi) making a late charge.

A two-sport athlete, Armstead also plans on playing basketball for the Ducks. He plans to enroll in Eugene in March.

From Lemming's evaluation of Armstead:

The No. 1 player in Northern California, he shows All-American ability at both the OL and DL positions. Prefers defense but may be better suited to play OT in college. He shows good body control, can bend his knees and has the burst to apply pressure on the QB. 

Armstead becomes the highest-ranked player in the Ducks' current class and should give them a bump from their current No. 22 position on Maxpreps' top 25 classes.

Posted on: November 2, 2011 6:33 pm
 

Examining Alabama's recruiting class

Posted by Bryan Fischer

In case you haven't heard there is a, well, epic match up on CBS this week between Alabama and LSU in Tuscaloosa. As part of extensive coverage of both teams on CBSSports.com and CBS Sports Network, the Eye on Recruiting will be breaking down the biggest reason each team is thinking BCS national championship this year: the players they are recruiting.

Today we'll take a look at what Nick Saban is doing on the trail. The Tigers currently have 20 commitments for the class of 2012.

Team Ranking: 4th overall, 2nd in the SEC
Number of recruits: 19
Number of five-stars: One, cornerback Geno Smith.
Best position:
Linebacker. Ryan Anderson, Tyler Hayes, Dillon Lee and Reggie Ragland.
Weakest position:
Offensive lineman, one commitment.
Top recruit:
#19 Geno Smith (left)
Sleeper:
Defensive tackle Darren Lake.
Top target:
#9 overall recruit Landon Collins.

Ever since Nick Saban signed on in Tuscaloosa, the Crimson Tide have been in the running for the top recruiting class in the country. It's remarkable how consistently good they've recruited, grabbing a mix of five-star talent with solid in-state prospects that turn into high draft picks later. If there's an elite recruit somewhere in the country, chances are they have Alabama somewhere on their shortlist, especially on defense.

This year's class isn't complete by any means but is stacked with athletes that can run and that can hit. Geno Smith is the top ranked player committed to the Tide and should be an excellent fit in Saban's defensive system that has churned out an NFL corner just about every year. Safety Eddie Williams is a big safety who can roam the secondary and provide punishing hits while out-leaping opposing receivers for interceptions. No group is as deep as the linebackers the team is looking to sign in February. Dillon Lee is a big interior 3-4 linebacker who can drop quickly in coverage while Reggie Ragland is another polished linebacker that fits the mold of a Courtney Upshaw or Dont'a Hightower. This class is heavy on defense and, frankly, loaded on that side of the ball.

Offensively, wide outs Chris Black and Amari Cooper are not Julio Jones physically but are super fast and quick - just the type of player you want to get into open space so they can score. There's a few athletes, such as Justin Thomas, who could play multiple positions while Kenyan Drake could be the next in line at the running back position to impress with a great blend of speed and power. They didn't land top quarterback Gunner Kiel the first time but have a solid replacement in Alec Morris, who is a big signal-caller at every bit of 6-foot-3, 240-pounds.

The one glaring need for this class is probably at offensive line. That is normally a position the staff has done a great job with but this year it seems to be lacking, with only Brandon Greene committed at the position. Don't be surprised if the school doesn't sign at least one additional tackle if not more.

Heading into the home stretch of this recruiting cycle, Saban is looking to do what he does best: close. With Pete Carroll and Urban Meyer no longer coaching college football, it's fairly easy to say that he's the best recruiting coach in the country. It remains to be seen how hard they'll go after Kiel now that he's back on the market but there's certainly a chance after the Tide lost another highly ranked quarterback, Jameis Winston, to Florida State. Running back Keith Marshall, Barry Sanders Jr., wide receiver Dwayne Stanford, offensive tackle Avery Young, defensive end Jordan Jenkins, tackle Armond Armstead and cornerback Tracy Howard are some other top targets remaining on the board the program is heavily pursuing. Safety Landon Collins will be in Tuscaloosa this weekend for an official visit and a win could go a long way in him putting on crimson instead of purple and gold.

As big a game as this will be Saturday, it is also one of the biggest recruiting weekends of the season for the Alabama coaches. Nick Saban already has a great group committed in 2012 and certainly will add to it between now and Signing Day.

Posted on: October 18, 2011 1:01 am
 

Surveying the Field: News & notes from all around

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Plenty went on over the weekend in the recruiting world it's time to get caught up and figure out what it all means.

The big news was five-star tackle Arik Armstead had decommitted from USC. Perhaps one of the few recruits who you figured would follow through on his verbal pledge because his brother was a senior defensive lineman at the school, Armstead surprised many observers by announcing that he was exploring other options. His brother, Armond, was expected to play significantly at defensive end and tackle for the Trojans but has been withheld from competition after a medical scare sent him to the hospital in March. No reason was given by USC coaches and Armond has apparently passed all tests.

"Obviously, [Arik] was disappointed with the way things were handled between the school and our family the last six months," said his father, Guss Armstead, in a statement.

The 6-foot-7, 285-pound Arik is also a standout basketball player, adding a layer to his recruitment. He is still considering USC for both sports but it appears he'll be taking other visits and listening closer to what other coaches have to say. He'll be in South Bend for an official visit to see Notre Dame play USC this week and will take one to Alabama for their big showdown against LSU.

"It weighs on me a little bit, and I know I have a tough decision coming ahead, but I'm looking forward to it," Arik told USCFootball.com. "Going through the recruiting process, this will definitely change a lot for me. But I'm eager to see what new schools and other options I'll have after making this decision [to de-commit]."

As soon as he opened his recruitment up, Armstead picked up offers from Texas, Oklahoma and Oregon. It sounds as though they might be too late and the big tackle's recruitment will come down to the schools he was considering before pledging to the Trojans: Cal, Alabama, Miami, Notre Dame and Arkansas.

It will be tough to read how the rest of his recruitment will shake out simply because he's been off the market for so long. The Trojans aren't a long shot to get his signature on Signing Day but they certainly are not the favorite given the history over the past few months. That's a big blow as Armstead was USC's big fish in a small recruiting class this year. Family is important so that might give Cal a leg up for Arik but don't sleep on Notre Dame.

Either way, plenty of time for Armstead to figure out things and he is someone to keep tabs on.

Oregon hosts five-star talent and leave impression

While USC lost a five-star, Oregon is doing their best to land a few. They hosted a number of quality recruits for their game against Arizona State and managed to land two of them. The two the Ducks are really hoping to get a commitment out of however are Sacramento (Calif.) safety Shaq Thompson and Monrovia (Calif.) defensive tackle Ellis McCarthy.

Oregon hasn't seen their recruting reflect their status as a top 10 team and BCS bowl participant, showing modest improvement over the past few years but still behind other schools in the Pac-12. It's been a great year for West Coast talent however and it looks like they could capitalize with a few of the upper tier prospects.

"The crowd was amazing," Thompson told 247Sports. "It was probably the best part for me. They just stay crazy the whole game. I've never heard anything like it and I've been in a lot of different environments. You can tell the whole community rallies around the team, which is cool because that's how it is in Del Paso Heights (his neighborhood)."

A longtime Cal commit, Thompson opened things back up and has started to show considerable interest in Oregon and Washington, to the point that it appears to be a three-way race. His brother was a Bear and he's made good connections to the staff in Berkeley but the other two Pac-12 programs have come after him hard. Adept at playing either running back or safety at the next level, most schools are recruiting the 6-foot-2, 210-pounder on the defensive side of the ball. Don't expect a decision you can count on until he puts pen to paper even if he verbally commits to a school.

For McCarthy, it was a busy week as he was presented with his Army All-American jersey Monday afternoon. Despite the festivities going on, he still had his trip to Eugene on his mind.

"They don't spare any expense on their players, on anything, for academics and athletics," he told Rivals. "They spend whatever money they need to for their players to get better and to be in better shape and to stay healthy."

It might be a stretch to say that Oregon is the leader for McCarthy, long thought to be considered a USC lean, but the Ducks are certainly high on the list. He'll take several other official visits, so look for a commitment afterward but before Signing Day.

Eye-popping numbers all over

It seemed like everywhere you looked a high school player was throwing or rushing or catching an insane amount of yards or touchdowns this week. Here's a sampling of the records that happened over the weekend.

- Orlando (Fla.) freshman quarterback Tucker Israel tied a national record with 10 touchdown passes in a 68-10 win last Friday. At 6-foot, 180-pounds, he's bound to have a college coach or 10 keep tabs on him in the future.

- Future 2013 five-star - and son of Florida legend Fred Taylor - Kelvin Taylor rushed for 426 yards in a win, setting a county record. He's being heavily recruited by Florida and Alabama right now but it would be shocking to see him get away from the Gators. As this story notes, he could break Emmitt Smith's state rushing record this season as a junior and is within straking distance of the all-time high school mark.

- Wide receiver Robbie Rhodes caught 10 passes for 394 yards and eight touchdowns to tie a national receiving record. Both the yards and touchdowns scored were state records.

- Number one overall recruit Dorial Green-Beckham came close to matching Rhodes last week (354 yards, three touchdowns) but has a chance to set a national receiving record this week against Marshfield High. Here's some highlights of Green-Beckham's game from this week.

Video of the week

Defensive tackle Carlos Watkins committed to Clemson after his high school game and did so in a very unique manner.



Recruiting Roundup

Auburn commit Josh Holsey is planning visits to Florida State, LSU and maybe Georgia.

Offensive tackle Avery Young's first official visit will be to Auburn.

If recruits pick TCU, it might not be because of the Horned Frogs move to the Big 12.

Oklahoma State commit Zac Veatch is a versatile athlete.

Conference realignment concerns are clouding West Virginia's recruiting.

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com