Arik Armstead is giving up on his first love of basketball and will solely focus on football as he enters his junior season with the Oregon Ducks.
Armstead, through his father Guss Armstead, issued the following statement to CSNNW.com: “While I will certainly miss playing basketball with my teammates, I have decided to focus my full attention on academics and being the best football player for the University of Oregon that I can possibly be.”
The 6-8, 290-pound defensive end came to Oregon as one of the nation’s most coveted recruits. 247Sports ranked him as the No. 4 player in the nation and the No. 1 athlete. He was given the athlete designation because of the uncertainty of his college position.
Two years later as a defensive end in which he has 41 tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks and two pass breakups leads to questions about whether his best position may be on the other side of the ball as an offensive tackle, according to College Football 24/7.
“What sets the younger Armstead apart is his outstanding footwork, coincidentally the result of his basketball background. With that combination of size and agility, it was easy to imagine Armstead as the next dominant offensive tackle”
The old adage is that you can’t coach size and at 6-8 and nearly 300-pounds, Armstead has elite size and while he is too big to play defense, he has prototypical size to be a left tackle.
His basketball career ends two days after Armstead recorded his first career points in a blowout win.
Armstead has already made one tough decision to give up basketball and if he can make another tough decision to switch positions he could see his draft stock for the NFL rise dramatically.