LSU Football: Arik Gilbert could be returning to Baton Rouge

Mandatory Credit: John Reed-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: John Reed-USA TODAY Sports /

LSU football tight end Arik Gilbert is undoubtedly the biggest star currently in the transfer portal.

Gilbert, a former five-star recruit who signed with the Tigers during the 2020 recruiting cycle, was a key part of LSU’s offense as a true freshman this past season.

Prior to opting out of the season in December, Gilbert caught 35 passes for 368 yards and two touchdowns.

Those are solid numbers for a true freshman tight end that was playing with an uncertain quarterback situation.

Over a full 13 games season, those numbers would extrapolate to 57 catches for 598 yards and three touchdowns. Again, great numbers for a true freshman tight end.

There’s no doubt that LSU would benefit from having Gilbert back in 2021.

But what are the chances of that happening?

Better than we once thought, apparently.

Gilbert “committed” to Florida earlier this offseason, but less than a month later he “deommitted” from the Gators.

Arik Gilbert could rejoin LSU football in 2021

Rivals recruiting analyst Mike Farrell provided some clarification this week on the Gilbert transfer situation.

According to Farrell, Gilbert didn’t leave LSU because he was homesick (as was rumored).

“Let’s finally put to rest the notion that Gilbert left LSU because he was homesick,” wrote Farrell. “That’s not true. Gilbert never wanted to leave LSU but off-field issues forced him back home.”

Farrell also said that Gilbert still wants to be in Baton Rouge.

“LSU has always been where he wanted to be and, according to many sources, is his preference now,” noted Farrell.

If Gilbert decides to return to LSU, there will be “conditions” and “NCAA hurdles” that he has to clear if he’s allowed to play.

For now, it appears the only way Gilbert will see the field in 2021 is if he returns to LSU.

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There’s still a lot to be decided here, but the odds of the stud tight end returning to Baton Rouge are certainly higher now than they were a month ago.