Wed May 25 04:10pm EDT
It's the great debate among many high school athletes as they attempt to choose their collegiate athletic path, but rarely does a high profile recruit in one sport decide to play the other.
Meet Arik Armstead, the exception to the rule.
Armstead is four-star defensive end from Pleasant Grove High in California. He's the No. 23 player in the country for 2012, according to Rivals.com, though he's listed as the nation's top recruit by other recruiting services. He's committed to play football at USC where his brother Armond already plays.
But all that means little to the 6-foot-8, 300 pound senior-to-be, who wants to play basketball and is currently in talks to do so at Nevada.
Yeah, you read that right. Armstead is thinking of spurning Lane Kiffin to play hoops in Reno. In fact, Armstead has already scheduled an official visit with the Wolf Pack.
"Nevada was my first basketball offer, and like I said my Dad has a great relationship with Coach Carter," Armstead told SilverandBlueSports.com. "They've been friends a long time. College basketball is something I've always wanted to play, so why not? That's one of the best matches I could imagine for me."
I will say that Armstead's knowledge of Nevada basketball history is a little eerie and is some cause for concern for USC fans. There's no doubt that Armstead has done his homework on his new hardwood suitor.
"I followed JaVale (McGee), Armon (Johnson) and Luke Babbitt, and I know they have had guys like Ramon Sessions and (Kirk) Snyder who have played in the league," Armstead told the website. "That's all pretty recently. They've had some L.A and Bay Area guys too."
Now before USC fans start attacking Armstead's Facebook page or begin campaigns to stand in front of his house until his pledges his allegiance to the Trojans, remember that signing day is a long way away. Armstead is checking out his options and you can't blame the kid for that. Yes, it's odd that one of the country's most talented football players wants to chuck it all for a mid-major basketball program, but it's hard to leave your first love.
This could all be solved if Kiffin and USC basketball coach Kevin O'Neill took the Les Miles approach and encouraged Armstead to play both sports while in college, and according to the website Ballin' is a Habit, those talks have taken place. It's tough to do, but there are dual-sports athletes that find success and happiness in both sports.
You have to think Nevada football coach Chris Ault is drooling at the possibility of getting Armstead on campus and pitching him on the merits of Wolf Pack football in addition to his basketball exploits.