January 18, 2012
No decision for Armstead brothers on where to play college football; mom says "the saga continues."

armstead.jpgBy Joe Davidson
jdavidson@sacbee.com

Moms know best, the saying goes, but in this recruiting situation regarding her sons Armond and Arik Armstead, Christina Armstead doesn't know what to think.

Her mind is swimming, as are those of her towering linemen sons and husband Guss, and in a chat with her today, there is no decision on where they will play football next.

Together? Seperately? Stay tuned.

"The saga continues," Christina said, allowing a laugh.

Armond is the 6-foot-5, 290-pound block of a former starting defensive lineman for USC who graduated last month and wants to transfer and play out one more season - healthy - before bounding in to the NFL Draft. Arik, all 6-8 and 295 pounds of shadow-casting upside, is also a graduate, days ago, from Pleasant Grove High School via on-line courses.

This early graduation was by design. The All-American lineman wanted to be attending classes this week - at Cal, Notre Dame or Auburn. He was greatly intrigued with Cal, particularly with position coach Tosh Lopoi, who was with Tedford on Sunday night for an Armstead family home visit. On Monday morning, Lopoi stunned Cal - and those he was recruiting - by leaving Berkeley for the Washington Huskies.

Arik said Monday that a "major reason I was thinking about Cal was coach Tosh."

Is Cal still in play? Perhaps, but the Lopoi departure changes things and perhaps greatly enhances the desire for the Armstead brothers to play together. USC wasn't going to release Armstead to play for a rival like Cal, so that certainly muddles matters.

Could the Armsteads wind up at Washington? Far too early to tell, and it sounds like a long shot, but calls are flying into the Armstead home from recruiters across the country - some for the Armstead brothers to play together, mostly to have them separately.

"Our whole motto, our whole thing, our goal...our kids love each other and Arik would do anything to help Armond and vice versa," Christian continued. "We'd love to have them play together and they really love that too. It'd be so hurtful to the heart if they're not together, and that's why we're holding off on a decision because they really don't know. We're looking into all the options of playing together first."

The options we do know are this: Auburn and Notre Dame for the sons together. Armond and father Guss joined Arik for a recruiting trip over the weekend to Auburn of the mighty Southeastern Conference and winners of the BCS championship following the 2010 season. As a mid-year graduate, Armond has been told he can enroll right away at Auburn, contrary to reports that SEC schools do not accept mid-year transfers or those who have graduated.

"Actually, as a graduate, it makes it easier," Christina said. "But we have to petition the SEC for that transfer and that can take two days or three weeks and we're thinking, 'Oh Lord...let this nightmare end."

On Sunday, Armond and Guss took a trip to Notre Dame. More intrigue and possibilities. Auburn coaches have visited the Armsteads in Elk Grove countless times, and Notre Dame coaches have also paid visits.

So the Armsteads ponder, brainstorm and wonder and wait.

For UPDATE on Armstead decision, click here.

For more updates/news, follow on Twitter: sb_joedavidson



About the Prep blog

Bee staff writers Joe Davidson and Bill Paterson provide news, analysis and insight on the area high school sports scene in their Prep Blog. Have a question to ask them? Send them an email any time at jdavidson@sacbee.com or bpaterson@sacbee.com.

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