Arik Armstead (Elk Grove, Calif./Pleasant Grove) took his fourth official visit this year to Cal over the weekend. The Bears are definitely a major player for the two-sport star.
“It was a great visit,” Armstead said. “It was a lot different than my other visits, because I knew so many of the players on the team and a lot of the recruits on the trip. There were over 20 players visiting, and I felt like I knew most of them. That was probably the best part of the trip, just hanging out with the guys and getting to know them better.
“I’m cool with Shaq [Thompson] and was with Aziz [Shittu], Matt Cochran, Ismael Adams and of course Bryce Treggs. My host was Trevor Guyton, and he’s a real cool guy as well. The big thing with Cal is the family atmosphere. You can really feel that, and Coach Tedford talked a lot about how he tries to build one big family there and you definitely get a strong feeling for that.”
Armstead said he already has a special relationship with Bears DL coach Tosh Lupoi.
“Tosh has been recruiting me since I was a sophomore,” Armstead said. “We spent a lot of quality time together, and he showed me on film and talked to me about what role I would play in their defense. They run a 3-4 and they like me as a defensive end, but I would be moved around to take advantage of mismatches."
Armstead said he sees an opportunity to play early at Cal, which helps the Bears.
“Cal graduates both of their starting defensive ends so the opportunity to come in and make an impact right away is definitely there," Armstead said. "They have some good young players on the defensive line, and I hung out with a lot of them and we bonded pretty well. Cal is definitely a good fit, and I’m very comfortable there.”
As always, Armstead spent considerable time with the basketball staff as well.
“Most of my Sunday was about basketball,” Armstead said. “I watched the team do their shoot-around, watched some film of how they use their post players, and then they had a game, and I watched part of that before I had to go. I like coach [Mike] Montgomery a lot, and a couple of the guys on the team played for the AAU team I play on, and they all have nothing but positive things to say about the program.”
Armstead has one more visit to take and could take it as soon as this weekend.
“I’m going to visit Auburn, and it might be this weekend,” Armstead said. “It would be nice to get all my trips done in December and then have some time over the holidays to make my decision. I’m graduating early, but that doesn’t really put any extra pressure on me, because if I don’t feel ready, I won’t commit anywhere yet.
“I’m looking for a place where I’m comfortable with the city and the campus life, a strong relationship with my position coach and a place where I’m comfortable with the basketball program. I haven’t eliminated anyone yet, but I’m starting that process pretty soon here, and there’s definitely some schools that stand out to me more than the others.”
Armstead has previously visited Alabama, Notre Dame and Oregon with the Tigers being his final visit. The lineman was originally committed to USC but the feeling is the Trojans are fading a bit in this race right now.