Can you imagine having a body-pounding practice season that lasts from the beginning of summer all the way to the end of March, and on top of that traveling every other weekend for games? Welcome to Arik Armstead’s life! This true freshman is a rare multi-sport athlete playing both football and basketball at the University of Oregon. Armstead is defensive lineman in football and was that rare freshman who found himself in the starting rotation at that position. He is finding his sporting life different in basketball, where Armstead has yet to touch the court during a game under head coach Dana Altman.
We find a similar story in Washington’s Seferian Jenkins, who last year set virtually all school records for a tight end on the gridiron. He also played basketball, averaging 7.2 minutes per game off of the bench. Jenkins, who is obviously more talented on the turf than the hardwood, quit basketball this year to focus more on football and his studies. He was recently quoted in the Seattle Times as saying, “I just need to focus on and get (rested).” With the realization that being a two-sport athlete is tremendously hard on the body, mind and school, Jenkins decided to quit basketball. He can now focus on school and rest his body for the physicality of the gridiron.
My opinion is that Armstead should take notes from Seferian. The dual-sport freshman is undeniably more talented as a football player. The wear and tear which Armstead suffers from basketball could affect him next fall, as he’ll only have 2-3 months to rest until he is back at football workouts over the summer. Armstead is an athletic freak, but if he over-exhausts his body, he will probably not be as effective and may be prone to injuries. Please Arik, think about your future. Our D-line needs you at your full potential. And seriously, the NFL is much more likely future for you than the NBA.