Terrion Arnold’s Improvement Must Be Recognized
After a stellar performance against a high-powered Ole Miss offense where Terrion Arnold recorded eight tackles, two pass breakups, and a timely interception, Arnold has solidified himself as a rising star on a stellar Alabama defense.
However, one can't help but remember that nearly 11 months ago, Arnold was being put on full blast on social media after back-to-back underwhelming performances against Texas A&M (albeit Arnold made the game-saving play against A&M) and Tennessee.
This begs the question, what went into Arnold's fast progression into an elite shutdown corner over the off-season?
A vital part of Arnold's growth over the off-season was the coaching prowess of cornerback coach Travaris Robinson. Robinson, a former Auburn defensive back, has a notoriety for turning young cornerbacks into nationally recognized players.
For example, consider Robinson's time at Florida, where he turned Vernon Hargreaves III into an All-American and Jalen Tabor into a freshman All-American. Both Hargreaves III and Tabor made the NFL.
Robinson also did the same with Arnold's teammate, Kool-Aid McKinstry, a year ago. McKinstry, like Arnold, had struggled during his first season but flashed potential, including making a clutch pass breakup against an SEC rival. Now, McKinstry is arguably the best player on an extremely talented Alabama defense and one of the best corners in the nation.
Arnold's growth should serve as a reminder to fans that patience is key with a young players growth. Not every player is going to be elite right away, for the majority of players it takes time to perfect their craft at the next level to become a star.
Arnold's transformation from a weak spot in the secondary into a shutdown corner and a legit NFL prospect must be recognized by both Alabama fans and national media.