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The 5-star crown jewel of Oregon's 2012 recruiting class is a cornerstone of the 2014 Ducks defense.
Arik Armstead's contributions through his first two seasons were modest: five tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks, 41 total tackles. But in stepping in for departed Taylor Hart, Armstead's production will be key to Oregon's run-stopping efforts.
Hart made 75 tackles last season, including six for a loss. Armstead must be as active to help the Ducks improve upon their 165.5 rushing yard-per-game yield.
Armstead's improvement is also integral to Oregon's defense of the pass. He boasts a virtually unmatched combination of length and athleticism, which can be used to disrupt opposing quarterbacks on blitzes.
In addition to filling the void Hart left statistically, Armstead said he is taking it upon himself to be a leader for the Oregon defensive line.
"I try to lead by example and if they have any questions for me, you know I'll help them as much as I can," Armstead told Andrew Greif of The Oregonian. "With the new guys we try to keep our culture and how we do things at Oregon."