After watching just a few minutes of Elk Grove (Calif.) Pleasant Grove athlete Armond Armstead work out at the NorCal NIKE Camp a few weeks ago, there was no question he possessed the kind of upside few have in the state this year. We expected offers to roll in for the talented lineman following the camp and that is now beginning to happen.
Heading into the NIKE camp, we expected to see a 250 pound Armstead working out with the tight ends. Instead, we saw a 290 pound lineman who could end up being the top defensive tackle in the state.
Many times when it comes to scouting or evaluating players for college, you have to overlook what a player did on the field or how he looks now and project how he'll be in a few years. Armstead is one such player.
When you watch him on film, he looks like a solid player, but again, the Armstead we saw at Stanford is a completely different football player than the one who lined up for Pleasant Grove last season.
The biggest difference is the size. Armstead has put on almost 40 pounds since last season and he's not sloppy in the least bit. He's a very athletic kid and his days playing basketball have definitely helped his overall athleticism and balance on the football field.
So when you see a 6-5, 290 pound lineman with excellent quickness and lateral mobility and then take in to consideration that he still looks like a puppy and is not even close to reaching his physical maturity, you can see why we're so high on him. It's not hard to envision Armstead at about 320 pounds in a few years while maintaining his unique athleticism and causing absolute havoc as an inside defensive tackle. There may not be another defensive tackle prospect in the state with the kind of upside we feel Armstead has and again, he's only scratching the surface of where we think he'll be in a few short years.
Colleges have definitely taken notice as well and the lineman received another big offer earlier today.
"Nebraska just offered me," Armstead said. "I talked to one of the coaches today and he told me the official letter has been sent in the mail and should hit my school any day now. Arizona has also offered me since the NIKE Camp and it sounds like Washington, UCLA and Arizona State are all very close as well.
"Coach Simmons at Washington told me he just needs to go back and talk to Coach Willingham and then the offer will be on the way. ASU said the same thing. I talked with their RB coach Jamie Christian and he said he talks with Coach Erickson, an offer will be coming. Texas A&M is also very close to offering and said they want to see me in person before doing so. They want me to come out for a visit and I'm interested in doing that.
"UCLA is actually recruiting me more as an offensive lineman. I would rather play defense but I'm going to attend their camp next weekend and see if I can change their mind a little and show them what kind of player I could be on defense.
"I'm actually going to take unofficial visits next Friday to both USC and UCLA. I'm going to USC in the morning and then UCLA in the afternoon. Then I'll be attending one day camps Saturday and Sunday at UCLA and USC.
"USC really wants to see me and told me they'll be offering me if they like how I work out. I've liked USC for awhile so I'm really excited about getting out to the camp and seeing how I stack up there.
"I may camp with Cal as well although I'm not really sure where I stand with them. They like me as an offensive lineman too and said they only have two scholarships to give out for defensive lineman. I camped with them last year so I may do it again but I'm not sure right now.
"I would like to make an early commitment if I can, possibly by the end of August. I'll have to take some unofficial visits because I want to try and get as much information on each of the schools as I can. I definitely want to check out Nebraska and I'll take a visit to Fresno State too.
"I've already been to Nevada, Cal, San Diego State and Washington. I'll see the L.A schools next weekend and once I know who has offered, I'll be able to sit back a little and decide where the best overall fit for me is."