Armstead Standing Tall at the Top

Arik Armstead

Arik Armstead was shocked when told Scout.com would rank him as the top player in the Class of 2012.

Arik Armstead was shocked when told Scout.com would rank him as the top player in the Class of 2012.

"That's a great honor. I appreciate it, but with the rankings and everything, I just got to keep working hard and keep getting better to hold that spot."

But the bigger surprise might be reserved for every recruiting analyst, coach and fan that has the Elk Grove (Calif.) Pleasant Grove behemoth playing on the offensive line in college and beyond.

"I'm playing defense in college," an adamant Armstead said Sunday at the Nike Camp at USC. "People can rank me where they want to rank me, but I'm playing defense in college."

Armstead did not participate in the camp because of an AAU basketball game with Compton Magic, where he plays alongside elite talents, center Isaiah Austin and guard Gabe York.

"They got too many dudes," Armstead said laughing.

It is Armstead's talents on the court that have so many projecting him to offensive tackle, with nimble footwork for a 6-foot-8, nearly 300-pound frame.

But he spent Saturday at USC, where he verbally committed last June, alongside the defensive coaches and players.

"They were working really hard," he said. "I went to the defensive meetings with them and got to watch film and everything with them. That was good."

Armstead has plenty of perspective when it comes to the Trojans, with older brother Armond entering his senior season as a defensive end.

He also stays in constant contact with the USC staff.

"I talk to them a lot, they come to my school a lot. Coach Clay (Helton) is my main recruiter and I talk to Coach O (Ed Orgeron) a lot and everybody a lot. I'm always down here," Armstead said.

While still firmly committed to USC, Armstead does plan to make unofficial visits that correspond with his summer basketball schedule. He identified Arkansas and Notre Dame as potential stops.

"Since the school offered me and showed interest in me, I can't ignore them. I'll show interest back," he said.

Armstead will also take official visits later this year.

A potential two-sport star at the next level, Armstead credited his father, Guss, a renowned basketball trainer, for developing the desire to improve.

"It really comes from my dad," Arik said. "He doesn't let us slack off or anything like that. I work out six, seven days a week, sometimes two times a day, really getting it in with him on the court and football workouts. It's really due to him. He instilled the work ethic in us."


Arik Armstead is Scout.com's top player in the Class of 2012.


*Discuss more on the SCPlaybook.com message boards

If you haven't subscribed to SCPlaybook.com yet, give us a chance. Check out all the premium content and recruiting information you have been missing with a 7-Day Free Trial!


USCFootball.com Recommended Stories


  • Just talkin' about this week, last week, the rest of the college football world and what life might be like Saturday night in Salt Lake City.

  • A year ago, John Plattenburg was making plays on a high school football field in Texas. A year later, and Plattenburg finds himself starting for the USC Trojans on a sun drenched afternoon in Los…

  • As much as the Trojans were looking forward to Saturday's matchup against Utah for first place in the Pac-12 South, it was hard not to look back at what Cody Kessler and his corps of receivers like…

  • Dr. Roto believes Miami Dolphins WR Jarvis Landry will overtake WR Brian Hartline as the team's No. 2 receiver sooner rather than later. Stay ahead of the curve with Dr. Roto!

  • The San Francisco Giants came out swinging in Game One of the 2014 World Series, scoring three times in the first inning and never looking back.