At a small gathering of friends and family at Table 260 restaurant in Elk Grove (Calif.), standout defensive lineman Armond Armstead made his college choice public minutes ago by committing to the USC Trojans.
Armstead, 6-4, 290 pounds from Elk Grove (Calif.) Pleasant Grove was one of the biggest revelations of the Spring evaluation period this year. Heading in to the NorCal NIKE Camp, we expected to see a 250 pound tight end running around catching passes that day.
What we saw was a 290 pound monster dominating the line drills and was easily the top player at either defensive or offensive line that day. We didn't have a lot of film to go on and what we had, showed Armstead 40 pounds lighter but we still knew he was a no brainer type offer because of his incredible upside.
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You just don't see many 17-18 year old kids make the physical jump that Armstead was able to make and still keep his athleticism that he showed from playing basketball his whole life. As offers started to flood in, there was one school that remained special and when Armstead got that offer, he jumped on it.
"I actually committed to Coach Carroll the day he offered me," Armstead said. "That was back in late June and it really wasn't a hard decision for me. I've loved USC for a long time and as soon as they offered me, there was no question that's where I was going.
"I still wanted to take some unofficial visits because I told some schools like Washington and Texas A&M that I would do that and I wanted to be a man of my word. So I wanted to keep the commitment quiet and make the announcement in conjunction with my birthday, which is August 3.
"With USC, there is so many reasons why I committed there. The coaching staff is incredible. I love their style of play and I get so fired up every time I'm around them.
"The school has incredible tradition, they're the No. 1 program in the country right now and defensive line is pretty much the only position where there not already stockpiled with talent. Plus the school is close to home and I have family in the area, it was just too good to pass up."
With the decision behind him, Armstead is already looking ahead to his senior season and he has been putting a lot of work in with a personal trainer to get ready.
"I'm starting to lean out and weigh about 280 pounds right now," Armstead said. "I'm eating right and feel really good. I lit three times a week and also run bleachers in my off days. We should have a really good team this year and I want to make sure I'm at my best because I know now that I'm committed, a lot of players are going to be gunning for me.
"I had fun with the process but I'm glad it's over. Now I can focus on school and our season, that's the main reason why I wanted to commit early. It feels great to be a Trojan and I'm a solid commit, I don't plan on taking any other official visits except one to USC."