Rivals.com - Making the Case: Four-star DB Terrion Arnold
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Making the Case: Four-star DB Terrion Arnold

Many of the top 2021 prospects signed during the Early Signing Period in December, but there are some big names still out there that have decisions to make. Tallahassee (Fla.) John Paul II Catholic four-star safety Terrion Arnold is one of those.

Today, experts from the Rivals.com network examine where Arnold might end up playing his college football. The candidates are Alabama, Florida and Georgia.

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CLASS OF 2020 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | Position | Team | State

CLASS OF 2021 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | Position | Team | State

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THE SITUATION 

Arnold can basically go wherever he wants. He is the highest-rated prospect in Florida that didn’t sign early, and three SEC powers will recruit him hard all the way to Feb. 3. He is from Florida, so some think that gives the Gators an edge. Arnold does call himself a “Florida Boy.” The Crimson Tide and Bulldogs are legit threats though, and both are considered true contenders late in this race. He is close to multiple staff members in Tuscaloosa, including Nick Saban. He knows numerous Georgia signees, and he calls head coach Kirby Smart “my guy.”

Arnold is playing things extremely close to the vest, but a decision is less than two weeks away. So, with a decision coming into focus we asked our team of experts to state the case for their respective programs and let National Recruiting Director Mike Farrell issue a verdict.

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Terrion Arnold
Terrion Arnold (Rivals.com)

THE CONTENDERS 

Alabama 

“Arnold has been one of Alabama’s premier targets since the very start of his recruitment. He has a very strong relationship with Alabama assistant coach Sal Sunseri, who has led the charge in his recruitment, but he has also developed a very good relationship with Nick Saban. Arnold wants the opportunity to play football and basketball. Alabama has one defensive back signee/early enrollee, Ga’Quincy McKinstry, who also plans on playing both sports in college. McKinstry has also been helping recruit Arnold to Alabama. Arnold’s recruitment will come down to the wire as each one of his favorites believes it has an opportunity to land his signature. Alabama has just as good of a chance to land Arnold as Florida or Georgia.” — Andrew Bone, BamaInsider.com

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Florida 

Florida is the school Arnold is most familiar with and has visited the most as well. Despite having the whole staff in the secondary replaced, Arnold primarily speaks with Dan Mullen and says those decisions aren't going to factor into his decision. UF is obviously the lone in-state school on his list as well. He is very familiar with a flurry of the prospects who recently signed last month and continues to receive the full-court press from several of them, including Donovan McMillon, who he spent most of his time with during the LSU game. Arnold loves the atmosphere and fan support in Gainesville as well. Familiarity is what has the Gators near the very top right now.” — Corey Bender, GatorsTerritory.com

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Georgia 

“Simply put, Georgia needs Arnold more than Alabama or Florida. With a mass exodus of secondary talent headed for the NFL the path to the field in Athens is clear, and the fact that Kirby Smart has taken a vested role in the recruitment speaks volumes. Yes, Georgia is down a secondary coach, but Florida is playing with the same handicap. Meanwhile, the Crimson Tide are well-stocked on the back end and have a strong, highly ranked class coming into the fold. The Bulldogs are going to sell available playing time, as well as some familiar faces (such as Xavian Sorey), and given what sort of currency that is in today's recruiting world I like their chances to seal the deal.” — Jake Reuse, UGASports.com

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THE VERDICT 

“It’s a tough guess right now between UGA and Florida, as I hear Alabama is trailing. He still has visits he wants to take and Florida was his leader for a while, but something tells me he ends up at UGA.” - Mike Farrell, Rivals.com national recruiting director