Arik Armstead is currently committed to Lane Kiffin and USC, but the top ranked player and best offensive lineman in the country for the 2012 class according to Scout.com, is reportedly looking around at other schools and may soon take visits.
One of those schools Armstead just happens to be looking at is Notre Dame. Armstead’s interest in the Irish probably has a lot to do with the school’s emphasis on the state of California the past couple of recruiting cycles under tight ends coach Mike Denbrock, who recruits the West Coast area.
Last year’s class saw the Irish bring in Troy Niklas and George and Josh Atkinson into the fold from the state and Deontay Greenberry and Tee Shepard are already committed in this year’s class with a few others, including Armstead, as possibilities.
The Irish having a shot with the stud offensive lineman has not only to do with the Irish recruiting the state better in recent years, but also with USC not recruiting as well since Pete Carroll left for the NFL. When Carroll was the head man in LA, SC would get every top player in the entire state. With Kiffin now running the show, SC is no longer invincible in the state of California.
Despite Armstead showing interest, the Irish will have their work cut out for them to try and steal the top ranked player from USC.
Up to date, Armstead has yet to say whether he will visit South Bend. Sometimes it can be difficult to get a player from a warm weather state to visit a town as cold as South Bend, but when that player does step on campus, the Irish are usually the team to beat for that players services.
He also has a brother that is currently on the USC roster. That could be both a good and bad thing for Notre Dame. His brother could be telling how bad the situation is under Kiffin with the sanctions and what not, but he also could be telling about all the perks that SC has to offer. The Cali girls, the tradition and the beautiful campus are just a few of those.
It also remains to be seen whether or not Armstead would be willing to play college ball on defense. Most teams, including USC, are recruiting him as an offensive lineman, but Brian Kelly sees him as a stud defensive lineman in the Irish’s 3-4 defense. If he wants to strictly play on the o-line, the Irish won’t have any shot with him.
We will know in the coming weeks and months just how much interest Armstead has in becoming part of the Irish family. Ideally, Kelly and company would probably love to bring him in on that Oct. 22 date against USC in South Bend. If the Irish put a beat down on the Trojans, that could be the difference in the Armstead recruitment.