LSU Football: Door to return to Baton Rouge is open for Arik Gilbert

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

One of the biggest players that LSU football can land this offseason is a player that was on the 2020 squad.

Tight end Arik Gilbert, the No. 5 overall recruit in the 2020 signing class, officially hit the transfer portal earlier this month.

Gilbert opted out of the final couple games of the 2020 season after catching 35 passes for 368 yards and two touchdowns in his first season as a Tiger.

At the time, LSU head coach Ed Orgeron said he would welcome Gilbert back if he decided to return to the Tigers in 2021.

“If he opts out and he wants to come back, definitely I’m going to take him back,” said Orgeron in early December (via ESPN). “He’s a great player and a great young man. I recruited him and we treat him like family, just like everybody else.”

LSU Football’s action show they’re doing what they can to get Gilbert back

Shea Dixon, who covers LSU for 247Sports, reported on Thursday an important piece of information regarding Gilbert.

According to Dixon, LSU hasn’t cut off Gilbert’s financial aid since his decision to enter the portal. Dixon said that typically a program cuts off financial aid when a player is in the portal.

Dixon also notes that LSU has been in communication with Gilbert as he goes through things that go “beyond football”.

One potential destination for Gilbert is likely off the board now. The dynamic tight end was reportedly interested in Tennessee, but now that Jeremy Pruitt has been fired that probably won’t be an option for Gilbert.

Next. 2 great options to be LSU's DC in 2021. dark

Gilbert could still end up landing at Georgia. But my gut says he’ll return to LSU.

However, this is clearly still all up in the air. At the moment, no one — not even Gilbert — knows where the talented tight end will be playing next season.