SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — A big guy with an even bigger heart. Former Pleasant Grove standout and current 49er defensive end Arik Armstead came back to Sacramento last week to give back to his community.

“Arik is one of the best people I’ve ever coached,” said Joe Cattolico, Armstead’s high school coach. “Aside from being a good football player, I always tell people he’s even a better person than he is a football player, which is saying a lot obviously because of how good of a football player he is.”

Since joining the league in 2015, Arik Armstead has made it his mission to help the underserved youth.

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“It’s been unbelievable seeing his growth as a young man, his advocacy for causes in the community both with regard to football but even bigger than football and the educational sides of things,” Cattolico said.

Over the past two years, Armstead has raised over $200,000 toward his Armstead Academic Project, which provides the youth in the Sacramento area with an equal opportunity to educational programs.

“I feel like it’s my responsibility. I’ve been so blessed in my life, I have this platform. It’s my responsibility to give back to the next generation of youth, especially here in Sacramento achieve what they want to achieve in life. ” Armstead said.

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A passion and lifestyle that was ingrained at a young age, he’s got a great family that is obviously the root of it all. Because in life there are some things that are just bigger than football.

“I always knew the type of person I wanted to be which is a compassionate person, I wanted to be successful, I wanted to make sacrifices to get where I wanted to get in life. I always saw the picture at a younger age. I’m just trying to do the best I can and make an impact on this earth and you know just try to be the best person I can be,” Armstead said.

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