Can Terrion Arnold Find a Spot in Alabama’s Secondary?
The Alabama Crimson Tide held its first preseason scrimmage on Saturday inside Bryant-Denny Stadium. In a roughly 160-play practice, one player that stood out over the weekend was freshman defensive back Terrion Arnold, who picked off Bryce Young while working with Alabama's second-team defense.
Arnold, a five-star recruit out of the state of Florida was the rated nation’s No. 2 safety and No. 26 overall prospect in the 2021 recruiting cycle according to 247Sports. A versatile player in the secondary, Arnold has been working with the cornerbacks throughout fall camp.
"I think any time a guy sort of changes positions, it’s a little bit of a work in progress for the guy," said coach Saban. "Terrion’s a really good athlete. He’s a hard worker. He’s really conscientious, and I think the big thing right now is just consistency in technique. He’s made a tremendous amount of improvement in the few practices that we’ve had to this point. And he’s got really good ball skills. He can run. He’s very athletic. He’s just sort of got to refine his game a little bit from a technique standpoint so he doesn’t put himself in kind of a disadvantaged position. We’re encouraged with the progress that he has made."
One of the biggest strengths for the Crimson Tide heading into the 2021 season is its secondary. This is a unit that returns three starters from a year ago, including Josh Jobe, Malachi Moore and Jordan Battle. DeMarcco Hellams, who started both games in the College Football Playoff is the favorite to start next Battle at safety. Brian Branch and Daniel Wright also give Alabama's secondary plenty of depth and experience.
Arnold is currently in a heated battle with Jalyn Armour-Davis and Kool-Aid McKinstry for the starting cornerback spot opposite of Jobe. After receiving strong reviews during summer workouts, Arnold and McKinstry have carried that momentum into fall camp.
The Crimson Tide will be back on the practice field, Monday, Aug. 16.