Terrion Arnold: Kirby Smart had very ‘high praise’ for the nation’s No. 2 safety

Terrion Arnold-Georgia recruiting-Georgia football
Terrion Arnold is a major target for Georgia in the 2021 cycle.

Want to attack every day with the latest UGA football recruiting info? That’s what the Intel brings. This entry provides a good look into why Florida 4-star DB Terrion Arnold remains a priority for the 2021 class in Athens. There is a lot of information to convey here. 

Terrion Arnold is tight with David Daniel and Xavian Sorey Jr.

Those are important names in the ideal 2021 class for Georgia. Arnold and Daniel became fast friends from their brief 7-on-7 season prior to the pandemic. They were both members of Cam Newton’s team. Daniel has been a UGA commit for almost a year now.

Arnold and Sorey grew up near one another in Florida. They are from the same community backgrounds.

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 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.

There was that a play last fall when he zigged and zagged for a long kickoff return only to see it called back. What did Arnold do when the opponent chose to kick again? He took that effort to the pay dirt, too.

He stated that he has about a 10-15 offers to just be a receiver. That’s why his highlight film is 11:30 long. And it is mostly pure gold. The type where a Power 5 recruiter could randomly pull clips at the 2, 3, 6, 7 and 9-minute marks and quickly offer without having to see all six of those.

Check out his junior film below. Grab some popcorn. It is a fun watch.

He makes plays in all three phases. He can run, hit and cover and has ball skills. The way he can elevate for the football is very impressive.

“High praise” from UGA for Terrion Arnold

Georgia coach Kirby Smart has seen those clips. That’s why he speaks to Arnold two to three times per week. That’s more than any other head coach out of a stout group with Alabama, Florida, LSU, Oklahoma, Texas and Texas A&M pursuing him the heaviest right now.

There are two quick Georgia elements to focus on first here. The first came in the answer to a question about the first place he would go if the NCAA allowed recruits on campus again.

“I think Georgia will be the first school I visit,” Arnold said. “Hands down.”

It might have something to do with how Smart and Charlton Warren are recruiting him. And maybe what Smart told him about what he could do at UGA.

“Kirby kind of gave me some high praise,” Arnold said. “He was saying ‘I know you are going to win the Jim Thorpe Award and be a Heisman [Trophy] finalist contender’ so that was really big. I said ‘Wow, that is a lot to live up to’ with that.”

Hill, his varsity coach, thinks he will be a safety in college. Warren has told him he will start out working at cornerback but might switch to free safety. That is so he can affect more than one side of the field. Alabama and LSU both see him as a lockdown cornerback.

Georgia also sees him making plays in the return game. That’s what Arnold would love to do. That was what got Michigan legend Charles Woodson a Heisman Trophy, too.

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. “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.”

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