football

2012 two-sport star lands first offer

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A funny thing happened to 2012 two-sport standout Arik Armstead (6-5, 235) from Elk Grove (Calif.) Pleasant Grove on his way to watch his brother, Armond Armstead, a sophomore defensive lineman for USC, practice. The younger Armstead took an unofficial visit and received his first offer for his skills as a football player.
"(UCLA defensive line coach) Todd Howard had indicated that UCLA were looking at giving Arik an early offer," Armstead's dad, Gus Armstead said. "I felt because of that, we could accomplish a couple of things when we go to L.A., whenever we visit Armond."
"We took a trip to UCLA two weeks earlier when we was down in Southern California playing basketball," Armstead said. "They gave a tour and everything so because Todd said they were looking into offering Arik.
"We took a trip there and wanted him to meet the coaches and check everything out. That's pretty much what they did, and they let him know how much they were interested, and put an offer in early and that let Arik know how serious UCLA is about him.
"Arik was excited with the offer," Armstead said. "He is very excited that someone would extend an offer this early. It just shows that UCLA sees the potential in him as a player.
"A lot of that has to do with the success of his brother, but also, Arik has had a really big summer," Armstead said. "He showed that he can compete with guys at the highest level for his age group so I think it was really exciting for him.
"A lot of kids get offers, but not of the magnitude of UCLA," Armstead said. "For UCLA to be a first offer, I felt it was really cool thing.
Other schools that are showing early interest in the 2012 standout are USC, Cal, Stanford, and Washington for football. He is hearing from the likes of UNLV, UC Santa Barbara and others for basketball.
"Arik is one of the top power forwards on the AAU circuit for his age," Armstead said. "He's clearly going to have some options."
Gus Armstead knows what a good basketball player looks like. He has been training NBA level players for years.
"Arik has been training with the professional guys that I train," Armstead said. "Like Matt Barnes, Ryan Anderson, Demarcus Nelson and Bobby Jackson, he's in the gym with those guys all summer for the past few years. He's around a lot of good players so it makes him step his game up.
"It is still early and it is goal to do both, but we are going to have to pray about it and take it year by year."
Armstead had a busy summer. He was the MVP of Ultimate 100 West camp for the class of 2012 that was held at Cathedral high school last month. He also played a lot of AAU basketball this summer. He played in the Pangos Tournament and the Vegas Tournament, to name a couple.
Does Armstead know what sport he wants to play once he gets to college?
"I think at this point, he's thinking to try and do both," Armstead said. "That's a lofty goal. People have done that, but I think we are just going to wait and see how he develops at each sport.
"I think a lot of it will be how his body physically matures and if he gets a lot taller," Armstead said. "Right now he's 6-6 and he's only 15 so he's going to keep growing. We're going to have to take it year by year and see.
"The way we are going to approach it is, we people to look at him as a separate entity," Armstead said. "The basketball people will look at him as a basketball player and the football people look at him as a football player. Then we will see out it all shakes out.
"The thing that is really cool is that is brother (Armond Armstead) is such a good example," Armstead said. "He's been a great role model being that he has been through the same thing.
"Armond has been really helpful with technique and just being there for him," Armstead said. "That has been really cool."
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