Arik Armstead stands 6′ 8″ high and tips the scales at 290 lbs, but don’t be fooled into thinking that he’s unathletic. Accompanying that premium size is world-class athleticism (I’ve see him throw down windmill dunks in his spare time at the Rec, casually dribbling behind his back/between his legs). Coming off a freshman year in which he contributed on Nick Allioti’s defensive line in a moderate backup role, much more will be expected from Armstead in 2013. Arik also played basketball on Dana Altman’s squad last season, though he joined the team in January and used the season as a redshirt while sitting behind Arsalan Kazemi and Tony Woods.
A consensus 5-star recruit, Armstead was rated the #1 overall lineman by Scout.com and was the second top-10 player that Chip poached from USC on signing day in as many years. While De’Anthony made a major impact his freshman year, Chip elected to put Armstead on the defensive line (while most scouts considered him a premier left tackle prospect) and he was not a major factor. That’s not to say his freshman year was a disappointment, for college football was a major adjustment from his high school days in Elk Grove (Calif.) and he was playing in a rotation with multiple upperclassmen.
2012-13 was a learning experience for Armstead, both on the gridiron and the hardwood. He learned what it takes to play (two) sports at the D-1 level, and now its time for him to put it all together. The graduation of Isaac Remington will give him an opportunity for more reps on the D-line, and the departure of Kazemi and Woods should allow him to see time on the hardwood. The future looks bright for Armstead, it’s his time to shine.