Arik Armstead, a larger-than-life, two-sport high school athlete from Elk Grove, announced Sunday afternoon he will attend Oregon. Cal and Washington were considered the other most serious finalists.
Armstead made the announcement at his family’s House Christian Church in Sacramento after a flurry of 11th-hour scrambling by recruiters. Cal, Washington, Oregon, UCLA, Notre Dame and Auburn all made final pushes this past week.
Commitments do not become binding until the national letter-of-intent signing day on Wednesday.
The Bears still are awaiting word from top-rated safety Shaquille Thompson of Grant High in Sacramento.
At 6-foot-8, 295 pounds, Armstead intends to play both football and basketball in college. He has said he prefers to play defensive end, but most scouts believe he has better potential as an offensive tackle.
Both Cal football coach Jeff Tedford and basketball coach Mike Montgomery recruited the Pleasant Grove High product, who graduated in December and hoped to enroll in college for the spring semester. It’s not clear when Armstead might begin classes at Oregon.
Armstead is rated as the No. 2 overall prospect in the country by the recruiting experts at Scout.com, who envision him as an offensive tackle. ESPN.com ranks him No. 24 overall, No. 3 among offensive tackles.
Rivals.com is a bit less enamoured, and has Armstead as the 61st-best prospect in the land, ranking him No. 6 at defensive end.