Arik Gilbert decommitted from Florida and re-entered the transfer portal after first departing LSU, so where could the former 5-star tight end end up now?
Former 5-star tight end Arik Gilbert is on the move yet again. The No. 5 player in 2020 recruiting class according to the 247Sports Composite, Gilbert entered the transfer portal after his freshman season at LSU in which he caught 35 passes for 368 yards and two touchdowns, reportedly because homesickness.
Despite those reports, he made his decision to join the Florida Gators program under head coach Dan Mullen. But just under two months since his initial decision to head to Gainesville, the Marietta, GA native is transferring once again, re-entering his name in the portal.
Gilbert also noted that he would not announce his decision of where he’d be transferring until after he was enrolled at his new school:
While we may have to wait a bit to find out where the tight end takes his talents, we can take what we do know and surmise where he will land. With that, let’s take a look at three possible transfer destinations for Arik Gilbert.
Arik Gilbert transfer destination No. 3: Clemson Tigers
During his initial recruitment, Gilbert took seven unofficial visits to Clemson. Located less than two hours from Marietta so that he’d be close to home, the location of Dabo Swinney’s program would make sense. And, of course, so would the success that the team has had in the College Football Playoff era.
With DJ Uiagalelei taking over for Trevor Lawrence, there is a notable void to be filled in terms of the pass-catchers on the Clemson roster. Gilbert has an easy path to seeing not just snaps but a lot of targets in the Tigers’ offense. All of this paints the program as an ideal possible transfer landing spot.
Arik Gilbert transfer destination No. 2: Alabama Crimson Tide
Nick Saban and the Alabama staff don’t have much trouble recruiting high-end talent in their own right but they missed out on Gilbert in their initial recruitment, even if they were a finalist. But much like with former Tennessee linebacker Henry To’oto’o, they could get a second crack at an elite young player that could offer a ton of help.
As with Clemson, the Crimson Tide are about to see former 5-star recruit Bryce Young take over at quarterback. However, their recent run of elite wide receivers might take a slight step back. That means they could use a reliable and dangerous tight end such as Gilbert to enter the fray and gobble up valuable targets from the dynamic young signal-caller.
Arik Gilbert transfer destination No. 1: Georgia Bulldogs
When Gilbert initially committed to LSU, it came as a shock to the Athens faithful as the Georgia Bulldogs were the favorites throughout the process to land the Marietta native, keeping him 1.5 hours from home. And it would be a huge boom for JT Daniels and the Dawgs to have another opportunity to bring Gilbert in and actually stick the landing this time.
At the end of last season, Georgia started to open up the offense with Daniels and one of the best pass-catching corps the Bulldogs have seen in recent memory. Gilbert would only make the offense more explosive and potent. Throwing him into that mix while also keeping him in his home state makes the Dawgs the most obvious possible transfer destination.
For more NCAA football news, analysis, opinion and unique coverage by FanSided, including Heisman Trophy and College Football Playoff rankings, be sure to bookmark these pages.