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.
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.