How Arik Gilbert shocked everyone when he committed to LSU football

LSU football's Tiger Stadium (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
LSU football's Tiger Stadium (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

Five-star tight end Arik Gilbert is the highest rated player in LSU football’s 2020 recruiting class.

LSU football is thrilled to have five-star tight end Arik Gilbert in their 2020 recruiting class, but they weren’t necessarily expecting to land the dynamic athlete from Georgia.

Gilbert, an early enrollee at LSU who is rated as the No. 5 overall 2020 player in the nation, kept his recruitment close to the vest, not offering many hints of where he would land.

Even recruiting analysts who closely covered Gilbert were surprised when he announced his commitment to the Tigers.

247Sports recruiting analyst Shea Dixon recalled this week that most folks around LSU thought Gilbert would end up at Alabama or Georgia. In fact, even LSU’s coaching staff had no clue Gilbert would commit to the Tigers last October.

Dixon said LSU was practicing when Gilbert made his decision. Some guys from the recruiting department ran onto the field to tell the Tigers’ coaching staff the good news, which sent everyone into an excited frenzy.

According to Dixon, Gilbert purposefully didn’t give any hints about where he’d commit. The elite tight end wanted to “shock” everyone.

Shocked or not, LSU is just happy to Gilbert in Baton Rouge. The 6-foot-5 tight end has the potential to be a special player in the SEC. Gilbert’s size, combined with his freakish athleticism, will give Tigers offensive coordinator Steve Ensminger (and new passing game coordinator Scott Linehan) the ability to create some advantageous mismatches.

Gilbert will also give LSU a dangerous red zone threat that will be tough to defend against.

Next. Why Zach Evans didn't end up in Baton Rouge. dark

The Tigers might have lost a lot of production from their 2019 national championship team, but there’s plenty of talent on the way.