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Arik Armstead Looks Forward to Playing Future with DeForest Buckner

Posted May 19, 2016

The Oregon Ducks reunion that is taking place with the 49ers is an exciting proposition in 2016 and beyond.

 

When Arik Armstead joined the “49ers Live” set on Wednesday and answered questions from the Faithful, it quickly became evident that everyone wanted to know about the Oregon reunion taking place in Santa Clara.

Armstead has been reunited with Chip Kelly and San Francisco 49ers defensive line coach Jerry Azzinaro, the two men most responsible for recruiting the defensive lineman to Oregon. The team’s 2015 first-round pick also gets to play next to his former Ducks teammate and good friend DeForest Buckner.

The serendipitous series of events has Armstead in an uncommon comfort zone for an NFL player.

“I think I’m in a unique situation that nobody else has been in," Armstead said. "I’m comfortable with the new coaches. Getting back out there and working with them has been extremely fun.”

In regards to Buckner, whom the 49ers drafted with the No. 7 pick this year, Armstead explained the proposition of playing together again always seemed too farfetched to become a reality.

“It’s huge,” he started. “Me and DeFo are real close friends. We were roommates in college. When he got drafted, he thanked me for leaving because it would have never ended up this way. Everything happens for a reason.”

Armstead, of course, is referring to the fact that if he stayed at Oregon, he and DeFo would have ended up in the same draft class. Both players would have likely been top 15 picks, which makes the likelihood of them going to the same team exceedingly slim.

“We used to talk about what would have happened if I stayed for my senior year and playing together for one more year," Armstead said. "But now we get to play together for a long time, and it’s going to be fun.”

The 49ers certainly aren’t complaining about Armstead’s early departure from Oregon either. San Francisco now has two 6-foot-7 cornerstones on its defensive line. 

“I feel like in college, we complimented each other very well," Armstead said. "You couldn’t focus on either one of us because you had either me or him on the other side. We have big plans playing together, trying to dominate people.”

The former Ducks aren’t alone in those plans. Armstead made sure to note the other names in the position group. Quinton Dial started 15 games in 2015 and earned a contract extension this offseason. Ian Williams and Mike Purcell provide both quality and depth at nose tackle. And that's just the start of the list.

“We have a deep defensive line: Dial, Purcell, Tony (Jerod-Eddie),” Armstead listed. “We have a bunch of guys. We’re going to come in packs, and I’m excited about it.”

Before leaving the studio, Armstead turned his attention to the Faithful who were watching live on Facebook. The second-year pro, who recorded two sacks as a rookie, had a message for those tuning in.

“I appreciate you guys,” he said. “I know last year was a tough one, but I appreciate you guys always supporting us. We’re out here working hard to have a successful season and make you guys proud.”


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