Glynn Academy’s Kody Arnold has primarily been a punter during his high school career but now this fall the senior will shoulder the kicking duties as well. He was thrown straight into the pressure-cooker in Game 1 of the season where the Terrors were in a high-scoring affair with Statesboro.
The game was on the line in overtime with Glynn Academy looking to tie up the game 42-42 with an extra point, but instead, coach Hidalgo pulled a rabbit out of his coaching hat in the form of a special teams trick-play. The ball was snapped to the holder, but instead of placing the ball down, he flipped it over his head to a sprinting Arnold who raced to his right crossing the goalline for the 2-point conversion and the clutch game-winning play.
The play ended up being the #3 play in the state of Georgia for our weekly top plays. Arnold talked about the preparation and what he was thinking about prior to the game-winning conversion.
“During practice, we go through all of our fake special teams plays and it has definitely made all of us feel more confident in doing it. Before that snap, I was just analyzing the defensive line and thinking about winning that game. I wasn’t thinking anything about not getting that score, all my mind was on was getting to that endzone,” he said.
For kickers, making plays in the clutch will in large part solidify how they are remembered. Arnold talked about how he has prepared mentally for this kind of opportunity.
“Being a kicker, you have to be able to hold yourself together through those high-pressure moments like this past Friday. Just staying calm in those moments, clearing your mind, and controlling what you can control is the main goal in those pressuring moments.”
The Glynn Academy senior is one of the most versatile specialists in the entire state of Georgia. The progress that Arnold has made harkens back to the hard work during this past offseason.
“Over the last year, I have really improved on my mental ability, my punting, and my leg strength. Taking on the starting role for field goals this year along with doing kickoffs and punts for the past couple of years has really helped me prepare mentally. My punting has also gotten very consistent and much more improved since last season.”
Last weekend, Arnold was 6/6 on his PAT’s, 4/6 on touchbacks, and averaged 43 yards per punt. The year prior he averaged 40 yards per punt and knocked 19 of 47 punts inside the 20-yard line. Arnold credits his improved leg strength to his strength coach.
“All credit due to our strength coach, Coach Ellis. He’s had specific workouts for each body part and it’s really helped my leg develop more in terms of leg speed and strength.”
Arnold is widely considered one of the top specialists in the country according to Hammer Kicking Academy’s Adam Tanlski. The kicking trainer ranks the top 40 specialists each year and Arnold is part of that elite group.
On the recruiting front, the senior has been hearing from a slew of programs and is excited about what the future holds.
“Recruiting-wise everything has gone very well. I’ve had a couple of Power 5 teams in contact with me as well as some Group of 5 teams. It’s all a very exciting process and I can’t wait to see where I land in the next few months.”
Senior year has kicked off with great success so far for Arnold. He talked about his goals for the remainder of the season.
“Some goals for the rest of the season are to make the playoffs, be named to first team All-Region, hopefully, All-State too, and to have fun most importantly with it being my senior year.”
Colleges programs should certainly keep an eye out for the multi-talented specialist. Arnold’s production as a junior punting the football was some of the best in the state of Georgia, and here in 2022, he is off to a great start that could prove our Preseason All-State predictions in 6A to be off-base.
His recruitment should certainly heat up soon. Arnold took a late summer visit to Georgia State prior to August and is part of the National Honors Society with a 4.3 GPA too, giving the student-athlete a rather coveted resume. All things considered, colleges should be all over Arnold, so be sure to follow @RecruitGeorgia on Twitter to hear the latest on the senior’s recruitment and the rest of the athletes across the state of Georgia.
My freshman year English teacher might actually read this, so hopefully, I did well, Rocky.