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LSU TE Arik Gilbert Might Be Transferring; Georgia in the Hunt

Rumors of LSU tight end Arik Gilbert entering the transfer portal started Monday night and his name has already been linked to Georgia football.

Rumors of LSU tight end Arik Gilbert might enter the NCAA transfer portal started Monday night and his name has already been linked to Georgia football.

The 6-foot-5, 253-pound tight end was recruited by every power-5 team that needed a tight end, but he liked what head coach Ed Orgeron was doing with his program, so he decided LSU was the best fit.

Now, after a tumultuous (3-5) season by the Tigers, there is word that Gilbert is homesick in Baton Rouge and wants to play somewhere closer to his family, according to a report from 247sports and The Athletic’s Brody Miller. 

Gilbert chose LSU over Alabama and Georgia, and it's presumed that if he does end up in the transfer portal, Georgia is a likely landing spot. 

If Gilbert opts out of the remainder of the 2020 season, he will finish his freshman season with 35 catches, 368 yards and two touchdowns.


Where will Gilbert go?

Gilbert had 26 offers from FBS schools with Georgia and Alabama being in the mix to get him out of high school.

Alabama’s starting tight end, Miller Forristall, has 11 catches for 150 yards and one touchdown in 2020. Forristall is a senior, so there could be a void that Gilbert would fill there.

Georgia rotates freshman Darnell Washington, sophomore John Fitzpatrick and graduate transfer Tre McKitty as the starting tight end. McKitty has six catches for 108 yards and one touchdown, Fitzpatrick has six catches for 54 yards and one touchdown, and Washington has two catches for 59 yards. It's not only currently a loaded roster, but 2021 tight end Brock Bowers is also in the fold. 

With the receiving statistics for tight ends at each school not as eye-popping as Gilbert's at LSU, he would likely used the same way at either school.

New offensive coordinator Todd Monken has opened up the passing game now that JT Daniels has taken over as the starting quarterback, and he is looking for tight ends with the athleticism that Gilbert possesses.

Georgia will likely lose McKitty after this season, but it will bring back Fitzpatrick, redshirt freshmen Ryland Goede and Brett Seither, and true freshman Washington. 

Does Georgia have room for another tight end? With a guy like Gilbert looking for a new home, Georgia would certainly welcome him into the program.

If Georgia does land Gilbert, one or more of the guys listed above might hit the transfer portal. It's possible Georgia expects a tight end to leave after the 2020 season, but only time will tell.