Terrion Arnold, ‘I Don’t Want To Be The Most Hated Man in Alabama’
Alabama redshirt freshman Terrion Arnold has been on quite a journey since he arrived to the Capstone in 2021. He came to the Alabama football program as one of the nation's most coveted safety prospects in the 2021 class, choosing Tuscaloosa over Florida, Georgia, Miami and Florida State.
Arnold didn't see the field during his freshman year but instead received a dose of reality.
"I learned I wasn't as good as I thought I was. Coach Saban was very, very quick to note that and he's done a great job of developing me into a better player," said Arnold after the Crimson Tide's 24-20 victory over Texas A&M.
The Florida native switched from safety to corner and began to climb the depth chart, earning recognition from the coaching staff in the media starting in 2022's spring practice sessions.
Arnold worked hard at his craft and has become one of Nick Saban's starting cornerbacks on an Alabama defense that's only allowed three passing touchdowns on the season.
On Saturday night, it was down to Arnold to make the game-sealing play as the Aggies were throwing into the endzone.
"Honesty, my teammates were looking to me. I kind of had a feeling that they were going to go to Evan on the last play of the game, since we were kind of battling back and forth. It was a great route and I was just in perfect position and able to make a play," said Arnold.
"In my head, before the play I'm thinking like, 'this is why you come to Bama', and I'm like, 'if they throw my way I don't want to be the most hated man in Alabama' so I'm glad I was able to make the play."
The play-call has been widely criticized now that the dust has settled, but perhaps the credit needs to go to Arnold for his situational awareness ahead of the final snap.
"I'm actually looking at Jimbo before the play, just going through and he's like, 'Evan! Evan! Evan! Evan!' and I was like, 'ok, I'm ready'. Just looking at Jimbo," smiled Arnold.
Despite allowing freshman receiver Evan Stewart to have his best college game, 8 receptions for 108 yards on 18 targets, Arnold clearly won the battle between the two of them. The defender ended the night with 8 total tackles, 4 solo, with 1 pass breakup and his first career interception for the Crimson Tide.
"He's a great player, a great receiver and we actually talked before the game and it was a little emotional. I was just happy to be able to go out there and battle it out with him. He's a great player," said Arnold of Evans.
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