SEATTLE — A last minute surge from Tosh Lupoi wasn’t enough for Washington to land Arik Armstead, a highly touted recruited from Elk Grove, California. Washington, amongst four other finalist on the table: Oregon, Cal, Auburn, Notre Dame and USC, was too little too late in the recruiting process as it turned out.
Not for a lack of effort, Washington had an in-home visit with Arik, and his father Gus Armstead on Thursday and came away very impressed. Steve Sarkisian, along with seven assistant coaches made the trip down to try and convince Arik and his family that Washington was the right choice.
As it turns out the decision came when Arik had his in-home visit with Oregon head coach Chip Kelly and Don Pellum. According to Armstead Kelly was “completely honest” and said he couldn’t guarantee he wouldn’t leave while Armstead was there. That means presumably the next three to five years.
He also said that Kelly, along with UCLA, were the only two schools that did not “negative recruit”. Meaning that while recruiting Armstead neither school trashed, bashes or belittled another school he was interested. “He recruited me without recruiting me,” Armstead said “that meant a lot for me.”
With the Tosh Lupoi situation it’s understandable that Cal and Washington had some choice words for each other and that clearly played a part.
For Oregon, this is the second straight year that Chip Kelly has landed an elite recruit out of Southern California. Last year De’Anthony Thomas, a running back out of Los Angeles spurred USC and signed with Oregon on Letter of Intent Day. While Thomas’ situation was a litter different, a threat to him and his family “forced” the athlete up to Eugene.
At 6’7 28o Armstead is an elite, two-way lineman who can play either defensive tackle in a 4-3 or defensive end in a 3-4. Or play on the offensive line at left tackle. Armstead joins an already loaded defensive line class at Oregon with Alex Balducci, DeForest Buckner and Terrence Daniel Jr. among others.
For Washington they don’t lose anything with the non-commitment of Armstead given he never took an official visit to Washington. Tomorrow top in-state offensive tackle Zach Banner will announce his decision at 2:30 PST at Lakes High School. Banner is 50-50 between Washington and USC as of last night.
Signs have pointed to Banner choosing USC but there is no favorite and it could go either way tomorrow. In addition to Banner, the nations No.1 safety Shaq Thompson is at Washington on an unofficial visit this weekend. Along with wide receiver, and friend Jordan Payton. Both will announce Wednesday, on signing day.
Banner, Payton and Thompson are now the three remaining elite recruits on Washington’s radar.
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