LSU Football: Where will Arik Gilbert play in 2021?

Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports /

LSU football tight end Arik Gilbert is entering the transfer portal.

LSU football tight end Arik Gilbert confirmed on Saturday that he’s entering the NCAA transfer portal.

(Though as of Tuesday, Gilbert still isn’t actually in the portal, though this could be a clerical issue.)

Gilbert, who was rated as the No. 5 overall player in the 2020 recruiting class, played in eight games for the Tigers in 2020 before opting out.

In those eight games, Gilbert caught 35 passes for 368 yards and two touchdowns.

The big question now that Gilbert is officially transferring is where will he land?

Gilbert will likely be the most coveted name in the portal this winter — he’ll have no shortage of potential suitors.

The most likely destinations for LSU football tight end Arik Gilbert

Georgia Bulldogs: This is the most likely destination for Gilbert. The Bulldogs were a major factor in Gilbert’s recruitment, so it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the talented tight end land in Athens. Reports suggested in early December that Gilbert was “homesick” and that was one of the reasons he opted out of the final two games of the season. Landing at Georgia would put Gilbert closer to home.

LSU Tigers: We can’t rule out Gilbert returning to Baton Rouge. Orgeron said on Tuesday morning during an interview on 104.5 that he hopes Gilbert returns to LSU next season. There’s a reason Gilbert committed to the Tigers. Maybe some time away from the program will give him some clarity and he’ll return.

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Tennessee Volunteers: Tennessee is a bit of a mess right now, but this is still a potential landing spot for Gilbert. Harrison Bailey, who will be a sophomore at UT next season, was Gilbert’s quarterback in high school at Marietta. Perhaps the two will reunite in Knoxville.

Alabama Crimson Tide: Bama is always a threat to land elite players. The Crimson Tide were also a major factor in Gilbert’s recruitment. But I don’t think this is where the Georgia native will land. I think Gilbert is looking for some familiarity, which he’s going to get at either Georgia, LSU, or Tennessee.

Florida Gators: This would be purely for football reasons. Gators star tight end Kyle Pitts will be off to the NFL. After seeing how Dan Mullen used Pitts last season, could Gilbert be interested in Florida? It’s possible, though I think it would be a longshot for Florida.

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