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Terrion Arnold is one of the most important remaning targets for UGA in the 2021 recruiting class.

Terrion Arnold: Breaking down an amazing Friday night for the All-American Georgia target

Want to attack every day with the latest UGA football recruiting info? That’s what the Intel brings. This entry will recap a few thoughts from the game that major SEC and Georgia recruiting target Terrion Arnold had on Friday night in Tallahassee, 

TALLAHASSEE, Fla.  — Terrion Arnold wasn’t wearing the right cleats on Friday night. He had a stylish pink-and-white-and-blue pair that didn’t give him the burst he needed.

He was still fast. But he picked out another golden pair for the second half with an equipment change. His Pope John Paul II Panthers only went 27 players deep on Friday night against Class 7A Chiles in Florida High School Association play.

That playing rotation included about 15-16 freshmen. The Panthers start about 10 to 11 of those ninth-graders on Friday nights.

When it was time to make the play that won the game, he was swift to credit 5-foot-8 Tremaine Hayes Jr. with a big play on the quarterback keeper. It gave his Class 2A Panthers a lead they would never lose.

Arnold made sure of it. When it was time to put the game on ice, the All-American Bowl pick called “Game” in his own right.

Chiles was driving for a potential game-winning score. Arnold then delivered a walk-off Pick-6 that finished off the Timberwolves for a 40-27 victory. It was his second interception of the night and now his sixth interception of the season.

Those gold cleats produced some golden steps on that game-ending play.

“I work out on my speed every day,” Arnold said of the play. “So I knew they weren’t catching me.”

Check out that play and the celebration.

When it was all over, Arnold said something that showed where his head was at. It was proof positive that he is headed for bigger things on the college stage.

“We are going to look and enjoy this moment and within the next 24 hours man we are going to get prepared,” Arnold said. “I’ve got to go take the ACT in the morning so I’ve got to go home and get some rest.”

Arnold just announced his Top 5 release date via his social media account on Monday morning.

RELATED: Check out the “high praise” Terrion Arnold said Kirby Smart had for his game

Terrion Arnold-Georgia recruiting-UGA recruiting
Terrion Arnold ranks as the nation’s No. 7 safety on the 247Sports Composite ratings. His isolated 247Sports rating has him as the nation’s No. 2 safety for 2021. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation)

Terrion Arnold: The very big game he had on Friday 

DawgNation spoke to Arnold at length about the current state of his recruiting. Those updates will flow in a subsequent story.

This edition will cover an example of what a priority target for the Georgia Bulldogs did in perhaps the biggest win in John Paul II program history. These guys are supposed to be able to play and take over games.

The best high school players do. Even against tall odds against much larger schools with a lot more beef on their roster and front lines.

Arnold definitely rose to this occasion. He felt it was the game of his life. Check out what all he did against Chiles:

  • 2 interceptions
  • 10 total tackles (6 solo)
  • 4 TD-saving tackles\
  • 1 Pick-6 walk-off as time expired
  • 15 yards rushing
  • 4 receptions for 64 yards
  • 93 yards in interception returns

The cleat change allowed him to elevate what was already a strong game.

“The bottom of my cleat was rubbing me,” he said. “I couldn’t really explode how I wanted to. Come down how I wanted to and then the grip. Once I changed the cleats I told my uncle it was go time.”

Check out the full highlight reel from his Chiles game below.

Did you know the weekly DawgNation.com “Before the Hedges” program is now available as an Apple podcast? Click to check it out and download it. 

Terrion Arnold: All of this may sound impressive but ……

Here’s my opinion on what I see from Arnold. I think he can do just about whatever he wants on a field. Anything.

The feeling is he’s a free safety first in college and then will shift to cornerback. Those target positions are going to require him to learn all five DB spots at a place like a major Power 5 program like UGA.

There would be a scouting misread here to gauge a 6-foot-2 build and 190 pounds and theorize he’s one of those athletic defensive backs. More of a gazelle. That 40-plus inch vertical leap and 4.4 speed in the 40 could lead one to convey that.

But this gazelle brings a jackhammer at free safety. It makes me think of a slightly bigger and twitchier Richard LeCounte III at safety. Both of those young men sport an array of ball skills at the same stage of their careers.

The opinion here is that Georgia under Kirby Smart has never recruited a guy who will primarily play defensive back that can do all the things Arnold can on a football field. Arnold caught 34 passes for 786 yards and seven touchdowns as a junior. That’s 23.1 yards per catch.

It wasn’t really a career game. More like the norm.

“That is typical Terrion,” John Paul II coach Ed Hill said. “That kid, the kid, is unreal. He is absolutely unreal. He just never stops. From the kickoff at the beginning to the last second on the clock, that kid is going to give you his all.”

That’s the way to decipher a special player. If a player does not dominate on a Friday night field where maybe at the most 25 percent of the guys on the field are next-level players, then how easily will he do so on Saturdays?

“It is really just typical Terrion,” Hill added. “If you get anything less than what you saw tonight, then it is a bad game for Terrion. This is just typical Terrion. You are just waiting for the top to blow off in the game with this kid. At any moment, the top is going to blow off for this kid and he is going to make a special play. When he then gets going, it literally elevates everyone else’s game around him.”

Check out another performance from earlier this month. It does make both nights look like a typical Terrion Arnold football game.

Look for more on DawgNation.com later today about what his recruiting picture currently looks like. 


(the recent reads on DawgNation.com)

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