Arik Armstead‘s final memory as member of the Oregon Ducks will be bittersweet.
After the Ducks lost 42-20 to the Ohio State Buckeyes for the national championship, Armstead decided to forgo his final year of eligibility and filed his paperwork for April’s NFL draft.
“After three years preparing with my teammates and coaches, I feel I’m ready to test myself at the next level,” Armstead said in a statement released by the school. “All the support I’ve received from Coach [Don] Pellum and Coach [Ron] Aiken, the rest of the Oregon coaches and staff and in my academics has prepared me to make this jump.”
“I’ve had an awesome three years here, and I’m so happy I made the decision to be a Duck. I want to thank my coaches, the academic support and athletic training staffs, the Eugene community and Duck fans everywhere for supporting me throughout my three years here. I’ll always be a Duck.”
The 6-8, 290-pound defensive end finished his junior campaign with 46 total tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks. He set a career high with nine tackles during the championship game, but the Buckeyes dominated at the line of scrimmage and amassed 296 rushing yards.
“We appreciate Arik’s contributions to the program over the last three years and wish him well at the next level,” head coach Mark Helrich said.
Oregon’s coaching staff will now await the decision from the team’s other starting defensive end, DeForest Buckner. Buckner has until Thursday to file his paperwork with the NFL.