Terrion Arnold: Nation’s No. 2 safety shares the two things he likes best about UGA
Want to attack every day with the latest UGA football recruiting info? That’s what the Intel brings. This entry runs back a recent conversation with All-American Bowl selection (and major UGA target) Terrion Arnold.
Terrion Arnold pushed his top 11 out recently. That’s the official statement on his recruiting process.
The reality for the nation’s No. 2 safety (pure 247Sports evaluation) is he’s working a much smaller pool of contenders through his mind. Georgia, along with a few others, is still one of those fortunate schools.
That was one of the big takeaways from a recent chat with Arnold after he was honored as an All-American Bowl choice recently by NBC Sports. For starters, that was a great day for Arnold and the Pope John II Catholic program.
That program was almost a non-entity about two years ago. When the spring meeting for those interested in playing football was held not long ago, the majority of attendees showed up for the drinks and pizza.
“It is a real big accomplishment,” Arnold said on the long-time dream realized. “I look forward to playing in the game and getting ready to compete.”
He was the kid watching the TV and saying that was going to be him on that screen one day. It will be.
A quick need-to-know story on Terrion Arnold
Arnold wears No. 11. That’s because he sat down one day and thought up 11 core reasons of why he plays football. He still has that piece of paper.
“It was basically all the reasons to count me in as a player again,” he explained. “My sophomore year I was big coming up on the recruiting in my state. I had dominated the whole summer and was ready for a breakout game.”
Then football happened. He broke his ankle on the fourth play of his sophomore season.
“I just watched everybody and everything around me just kind of disappear,” he said. “Folks said I was not going to be the same. I was transferring to a new school that nobody really knew about.”
Another one of his 11 reasons is to “trust the process” with his development. Arnold is a bonafide worker who doesn’t rest on his God-given athletic ability.
“The most important one of those reasons would be faith,” Arnold said. “Faith in the Lord and the Holy Spirit. But faith without works is dead.”
He used to watch that play where he broke his ankle over and over. He no longer needs to.
“I rewind it in my head now,” he said. “I just sit back and think I never would have thought before I played that game that one play would change my life forever.”
If he doesn’t break that ankle, he’s a different player.
“I think I had gotten too comfortable,” he said.
He’s not comfortable anymore. He wakes up every day, has an early morning workout, goes to school, practices, and then goes home to watch how he did in practice that day.
“That is not a want for me to do that every day,” he said. “That is a must.”
Arnold does that every day.
“I’ve been going very very hard in practice,” Arnold said. “I think a lot of people will see a different person on film. I really want to make that push to show I’m the best defensive back in the class. This is a pretty big year for me.”
Game week steadily preparing 🥰 pic.twitter.com/p2D4OfWo97
— Terrion Arnold (@ArnoldTerrion) September 1, 2020
Listen to what I said at the end🗣 I stand on that… pic.twitter.com/4ndmsccnpn
— Terrion Arnold (@ArnoldTerrion) June 14, 2020
I’m just getting started💯 pic.twitter.com/b1p6qaNDOm
— Terrion Arnold (@ArnoldTerrion) September 27, 2020
Terrion Arnold: The recruiting reset here
The scope of things here with the Tallahassee native requires a summation of a few key points:
- Kirby Smart is recruiting him personally and pretty much every day
- Arnold said Smart gave him a projection which he saw as “high praise” which included a Jim Thorpe Award and talk of being a Heisman finalist
- Georgia commits David Daniel and Brock Vandagriff have built relationships here
- Arnold was one of those elite prospects in the back of that pickup on that self-guided recruiting weekend at UGA
- A handful of SEC schools have offered him in basketball, too.
- Arnold has the ability to be a lockdown cornerback or a dynamite ball hawk at safety in the SEC. Georgia defensive backs coach Charlton Warren is recruiting him to play all over the secondary but loves his pure coverage ability. That’s why he is ranked No. 2 overall on DawgNation’s “Before the Hedges” top targets list this week.
According to Arnold, that trip was put together by Vandagriff.
“He’s a great leader and a great person,” Arnold said. “I would love to play receiver for him.”
The 5-star Georgia commit didn’t push the Bulldogs on anyone. He just wanted to be a guy who wanted to hang out that day.
“It was sort of like the same thing that Kirby has been saying,” Arnold said. “He was saying they really want me and they need me bad but then he also said ‘If I come, then I come’ but then if I don’t there would be no hard feelings.”
“I mean a lot of coaches don’t say that. That’s just him.”
That relationship with Smart sounds like one of the two main draws for Georgia in the Arnold recruitment.
Vandagriff said recently he’s known Arnold for a while. He thought it would trace back to football camps and prospect showcases when they were younger, but wasn’t quite sure how he knows him.
“I remember seeing Brock at a 7-on-7 tournament I think,” Arnold said. “But I didn’t know that was Brock.”
Those two finally connected on that “secret” recruiting weekend in Athens last month. It started with a formal introduction. Not through text messages or DMs.
“We were fishing together 30 minutes later and we just hit it off,” Arnold said.
Arnold was ready to go see Georgia again. He told DawgNation in early August that UGA was going to be the first school he was would check out when the NCAA’s hold on face-to-face campus visits lifted.
That hold is still in place, but he went anyway. Especially when he heard that IMG teammates Lovasea Carroll and Xavian Sorey, Jr. would be there. Arnold has connected with Sorey on the recruiting trail because they both came up out of nearby communities.
“They were going and I was like ‘I’ll come, too’ but then I didn’t know that Korey [Foreman] and all those guys were going to be there,” Arnold said.
Arnold sounds convincing on the notion he will play at the same school with Sorey.
“He’s just one of those guys I would support in life regardless,” he said.
Terrion Arnold: About the truck bed of future first-rounders
Arnold said it was “kind of cool” when he got there with Carroll and Sorey and then met up with 5-star DE Korey Foreman, 5-star OT Amarius Mims, 5-star DT Maason Smith and another 5-star in Vandagriff.
“That trip showed me kind of how the city is,” Arnold said. “I didn’t see the city on my last visit.”
Mims, Smith and Vandagriff have shared the story about going fishing and sitting in the back of a truck bed. Lots of talking and laughing. They were sweaty and pretty empty-handed with fish.
Foreman learned what a cricket sounded like. Arnold said that Foreman told them all ‘Bro we don’t have those in California’ in the back of that pickup.
It was Foreman’s first time fishing, too.
“It just felt like family,” Foreman said. “I envisioned all of us playing together. It was like all of us looking around in this truck and seeing there were what seven or eight first-rounders. So it was crazy.”
The potential of all those guys together on the same defense blew his mind.
“Scary,” Arnold said. “Thinking about if that might actually happen. It was crazy.”
Arnold said Foreman really opened up. Vandagriff first told DawgNation that story from when Foreman called it a special group at dinner that night.
“I think that was one of the biggest things for me,” Arnold said. “Going on visits and stuff you are around college players and future college players and stuff. But I haven’t been around people.”
“I haven’t been around people who I could really relate to like that and all of us could really relate to each other. It was like Korey saying he was the No. 1 player in the country but after watching my tape he said “You should be the No. 1 player in the country” and stuff like that. We were all around each other. A lot of great players, but also someone we could all relate to.”
What does the Georgia pull feel like now for Terrion Arnold?
“That would be the chance to play with all of those guys,” Arnold said of the pull to choose Georgia. “That would be pretty special.”
His previously-stated timeline still seems in place.
“I feel like I am going to have to wait it out some more,” he said. “Who even knows how they are going to do signing days? But I would say that going to go on visits in January is something on my mind.”
That would mean he might make his decision in February on the traditional National Signing Day. That said, he would consider a decision at the All-American Bowl. Foreman, among others, has told him they are also still considering it.
But that is always subject to change in this unprecedented 2021 cycle for recruits.
He said that his top schools’ list is losing some pounds. Georgia is still among that lot.
“It is shrinking,” he said. “I’d say I am down to about seven or eight now.”
Georgia is sending a lot of priority attention his way. Even on the day of this interview.
“Kirby had called me not too long ago, ” Arnold said. “So had coach [Charlton] Warren and coach Dan Lanning. All those guys are calling me or texting me on a daily basis. Or texting. Just making me feel like family.”
That bond with his potential stands out the most there. What comes next?
“Kirby Smart,” Arnold said. “Definitely how he is. How he runs his program. He’s a very efficient businessman. He gets things done and he is very competitive.”
(the recent reads on DawgNation.com)
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- Kickoff Freshman Report: Predicting the impact Bulldogs for 2020
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- Marquis Groves-Killebrew: What he means and will mean to Georgia football
- Amarius Mims: The tall tales that go beyond a Georgia boy’s 5-star ranking
- WATCH: NCAA wipes out all face-to-face recruiting for 2020 season
- How 5-star DT Maason Smith revived Georgia’s recruiting shot
- 10-stars of QBs recap: Brock Vandagriff’s team vs. Gunner Stockton’s team
- Maason Smith: The 9 things you need to know about the 5-star DT
- Brock Vandagriff details bonds forming among potential teammates in the 2021 class