One of the most intriguing recruitments this season will come to an end on Sunday when Arik Armstead (Elk Grove, Calif./Pleasant Grove) pulls the trigger.
Armstead will announce at 3 p.m. PT Sunday at The House Christian Church, his family’s church.
“He’ll decide between Auburn, Cal, Oregon, Notre Dame and Washington,” Gus Armstead, Arik’s father said. “We had our last home visit Thursday and now we’re just going to sit back and pray on this decision. It has been a long process but it’s coming to an end and I think Arik is ready to put this behind him.”
Armstead originally committed to USC two years ago but backed off earlier this year in a move that rocked the recruiting world. The decision to de-commit was in large part to his older brother Armond not being cleared to play for the Trojans this past season. Armstead took official visits to Alabama, Auburn, Cal, Notre Dame and Oregon and it appeared he and Armond were on the verge of committing together just a month ago.
“It was too rushed so we decided to back off making an early commitment,” Gus said. “With a decision this big, we didn’t want to do anything that we weren’t 100 percent comfortable with, so we decided to back off a little and make sure the boys were comfortable with what they were doing.”
All five of Armstead’s finalists came in for home visits this past week along with USC and UCLA. The general feeling is the three Pac 12 schools have the inside track here and all three have made a very positive impression on the family.
“Cal is the hometown school and Arik is very comfortable with coach [Jeff] Tedford, Coach [Todd] Howard and coach [Clancy] Pendergast," his father said. "Oregon has a great program and Chip Kelly and Don Pellum were very impressive on their home visit this week. We also talked with the basketball coach, Dana Altman and are comfortable with him as well.
“At Washington, we’ve known those coaches for a long time. Sark [Steve Sarkisian] was at USC when they recruited Armond and of course we know Tosh [Lupoi] really well. Arik didn’t take an official visit to UW but Armond did and Arik came with us, so he has seen the campus and is comfortable that he’s not missing out on anything.”
Another thing to watch closely with Armstead’s recruitment is how it could affect another one of the state’s top players, Shaq Thompson (Sacramento, Calif./Grant). The two are very close, talk or text on a daily basis and are planning to play together at the next level.
In fact, Friday, the two family’s were set to get together to discuss college choices. This one looks too close to call at this time but there is some buzz that Cal could be emerging as the potential team to beat. So whatever school Armstead chooses on Sunday could potentially be the school Thompson selects on signing day as well.