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Terrion Arnold/Courtesy photo
Terrion Arnold has named his top 11 schools.

Nation’s No. 2 safety Terrion Arnold names Georgia among his top schools

Terrion Arnold has released his list of top schools? Georgia was always going to make that first cut.

The nation’s No. 2 safety prospect for 2021 (247Sports rating) was just in Athens over the weekend for that hush-hush secret recruiting weekend of elite prospects. He’s already established a very strong relationship with Georgia coach Kirby Smart.

It was his first visit since a very impactful visit last fall for the Missouri game.

Smart has given Arnold some very “high praise” for what he thinks he could do in college football. 

Arnold currently ranks No. 2 on the weekly “Before the Hedges” listing of the top targets that remain for Georgia in the 2021 class.

Which other schools made the cut? Well, Arnold started out slowly with his initial cut. He’s trimmed it down to 11 schools. Those schools he tweeted out on Friday afternoon are:

  • Alabama
  • Florida
  • FSU
  • Georgia
  • Georgia Tech
  • LSU
  • Miami
  • Oklahoma
  • Tennessee
  • Texas A&M
  • USC

Arnold has told DawgNation that he’s very likely to take his decision all the way out to the traditional signing day in February. That’s because the pandemic has stalled his progress on research and discovery on all those top schools.

The COVID-19 concerns across our nation have slowed that progress. He had hoped to be cutting down his list to five schools for his official visits before the pandemic. Now, he’s at a top 11.

“As of right now, I kind of have to go on previous visits I have been on with my unofficial visits,” he recently told DawgNation. “It has kind of delayed the process there. If it had been a normal year, I probably would have known where I was going by the end of my senior season but now my decision has been pushed back to like National Signing Day.”

Why did Georgia make the cut for Arnold? He said it was because they feel genuine.

The Bulldogs must replenish some elite secondary talent in the 2021 class. They should see at least five of their top-shelf defensive backs move on to the NFL after the 2020 season.

“I would say the coaches at Georgia kept it real,” Arnold said earlier this month. “They didn’t just tell me lies or anything. They were just saying I will come in and make an immediate impact and be able to play right away. They just let me know off the rip I will have to work for everything and earn everything. They said they will put their best guys on the field. So I really liked that.”

The 6-foot-2, 185-pound senior lists a 4.42 time in the 40-yard dash and a 41-inch vertical leap on his HUDL prospect page.

Terrion Arnold-Georgia recruiting-Georgia football
Terrion Arnold has a lot of athletic ability and ball skills. Watch his tape below. He’s also not afraid to come up into the box and deliver a hit. (Terrion Arnold/Twitter)

Terrion Arnold: A refresher of what to know here 

There are a lot of names that will pop up in the recruiting story for Arnold. When LSU recruits him, he said the national champs point out the parallels with sophomore phenom Derek Stingley Jr. in the pitch. Miami’s coaches bring up the hallowed game of Sean Taylor.

When Cam Newton had him on his 7-on-7 team, he told Arnold he was special. Ed Hill, his coach at John Paul II Catholic in Tallahassee, will call to mind the name of another great player.

“He reminds me of Deion Sanders,” Hill said.

Hill had a cousin who was a friend of the future Hall of Fame cornerback when he was coming up.

“So I met Deion early and watched Deion play,” Hill said. “Terrion reminds me of Deion Sanders. He’s just as talented on the basketball court as he is on the football field or the track. Literally, whatever this kid does, it looks like he’s been doing it since he was five years old. It reminds me of Deion whenever he stepped to the plate in baseball. He looked like he had been playing baseball his whole life.”

That’s some serious name dropping for the nation’s No. 2 safety on 247Sports. Arnold rates as the nation’s No. 9 safety and No. 186 player overall on the 247Sports Composite. (Insider note: That latter ranking would be a lot higher right now in a normal recruiting cycle and evaluation period.)

The 6-foot-2, 190-pound senior from Tallahassee has basketball offers from several SEC schools, too. He played in a few of the same elite AAU tournaments as former Georgia star Anthony “Ant-Man” Edwards. He said he has been timed as low as 10.7 seconds in the 100 meters.

Arnold has a formula in mind of what he is looking for.

  • Competition level – “You practice more than you play,” he said. “Practice is what prepares you for the games. If you are not going up against the best of the best, then you are not going to be prepared to go against the best of the best.”
  • Coaching staff and relationships – “How the coaches react around each other. Do they like being around each other or are they just guys there?”
  • Head coach stability – “He controls everything. Is his job secure? Do I see him around for another five years?” His uncle was a scholarship RB at Cincinnati when a coaching change occurred. The new coach wanted to give the reps to his new guys. He wants no part of a situation like that.
  • Name, Image and Likeness“How is that team going to help you benefit from that?” Arnold has a keen mind for business. His grandfather owns a roofing company. He aims to major in business finance. The goal is to make the money he makes work for him as an additional income. That’s why he already understands the stock market. He doesn’t want his only income to come from his grind on the football field. He wants to use his money to invest in his future.

Check out his dynamic junior highlight film:

 

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