As the game of football has drastically moved more toward a pass-happy version of itself, it's placed priority on the quarterback and wide receiver positions on rosters everywhere. But in order to slow offenses down, it's obviously important to have elite defensive back groups .
It's why Georgia head coach Kirby Smart has made the transition to a base nickel package, playing at least five defensive backs on the overwhelming majority of defensive snaps. It is also why he has invested heavily in recruiting the defensive back position since his arrival in Athens.
With Richard LeCounte, Mark Webb and DJ Daniel having moved on along with Tyson Campbell and Eric Stokes declaring for the NFL Draft, Georgia's defensive back room emptied out rather quickly. Add to that Tyrique Stevenson entering the NCAA transfer portal and there is now a potential issue heading into the 2021 season.
It's what has made defensive back Terrion Arnold a must-have to finish out the 2021 recruiting class.
Georgia has already signed four defensive backs for the 2021 class, three of whom — Nyland Green, David Daniel and Javon Bullard — are already on campus in Athens. However, it's Arnold who has as good a chance to make an early impact as any on the SEC level as a freshman.
Arnold has narrrowed his list down to three schools -- Florida, Georgia and Alabama -- headed into the final February signing window for the 2021 class. So, what are Georgia's chances of landing Arnold?
It appeared to be a done deal for a while with Arnold to Florida having serious steam. However, according to sources, staff turnover at Florida has left the Gators on the outside looking in heading into February.
Alabama vs. Georgia
The battle for Arnold's services seems to be between Alabama and Georgia and the two programs are making two totally different pitches. Alabama is recruiting Arnold as a cornerback, according to sources, and it's a position that Arnold is more than capable of playing at the next level.
As for Georgia, they are selling positional versatility and early playing time. With so many defensive backs having departed, it's reasonable to assume that Arnold could walk in from Day 1 and play a pivotal role for Georgia, especially at the STAR position. The STAR at Georgia provides the opportunity for Arnold to cover like a corner, assuming safety responsibilities at times, while also adding value as a box defender.
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