Coming into the 2008 recruiting season, safety was a major need for Florida State. Last year the Seminoles thought they had landed several players going into signing day, but ended up missing as those kids went on to different colleges. Injury and attrition have hurt the Seminoles depth at both safety spots. To say the safety spot was a concern might be an understatement.
Florida State has already landed two very good prospects so far for the 2008 class. C.J. Holton, the number 7 safety in the nation from Wakulla High, made his pledge to the Noles several months ago. Nick Moody, a standout from Roman Catholic in Philadelphia, PA, is a prospect that is versatile enough to move to linebacker if need be.
Today, another standout committed to the already outstanding class of 2008. Travis Arnold, the local product from Madison County, visited FSU this morning and pulled the trigger when he committed to Mickey Andrews. He becomes the 3rd safety and 14th overall commitment for the Noles.
As a junior, the 5'10" 190 pound Arnold finished with 12 sacks and over 75 tackles on defense and over 750 yards and 12 touchdowns on offense. Combine that with his 4.3 blazing speed, it looks as though FSU landed not only a good safety, but also an overall great athlete.
NoleDigest caught up with Madison Head Coach Frankie Carroll to discuss Travis as a player and as a student athlete.
"He is a better athlete than Geno Hayes," said Coach Carroll. "I don't know about a better football player but he is a better athlete who could play offense or defense. If he continues to work hard he can get there. Travis is a genuine person and takes things to heart."
In the end, it was just a perfect fit for the Seminoles and Arnold.
"It came down to FSU and Clemson. He really liked Clemson a lot, but he wanted to play close to home where his mom could see him play. It is pretty much a dream of his to play at FSU. He has always wanted to play there. Some of his buddies Geno Hayes and Charlie Graham are there."
Though he sat out some this spring from an injury, Carroll believes Arnold will be ready to make another big impact this fall.
"The shoulder injury from the spring is coming along fine. He should be 100% by the time practice starts."
While some may wonder about his size, Carroll believes there is no question his star athlete can make the transition to college.
"He is very fast and physical and he can cover. He is a good fit for the rover spot. He makes the tackles and covers well. I feel Travis needs to work on run/pass recognition. He needs to be quicker with his decision making. Sometimes he sits there too long. Once he gets that down, Travis will have it all."
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