Ex-LSU tight end and former 5-star recruit Arik Gilbert says he's transferring to Florida

Nick Bromberg
·2 min read

Arik Gilbert is switching divisions in the SEC.

The LSU tight end said Sunday that he would be transferring to Florida. He’s a huge addition to a Gators team looking to replace All-American tight end Kyle Pitts in 2021.

Gilbert was a five-star recruit in the class of 2020. At 6-foot-5 and 250 pounds, he was the No. 1 tight end in last year’s recruiting class and ranked as the No. 9 recruit in the entire country, according to Rivals.

Gilbert made an immediate impact at LSU, too. He had 35 catches for 368 yards and two touchdowns across eight games. He didn’t play in LSU’s last two games of the season after he opted out, and rumors swirled that he was exploring a transfer.

LSU tight end Arik Gilbert celebrates after scoring during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Missouri Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020, in Columbia, Mo. (AP Photo/L.G. Patterson)
Arik Gilbert is heading to Florida. (AP Photo/L.G. Patterson)

Florida is reloading on offense

Assuming he’s immediately eligible, Gilbert should step in right away as Florida’s starting tight end. The Gators had a great recruiting pitch for Gilbert in Pitts as the junior was unstoppable in 2020. Pitts had 43 catches for 770 yards and 12 touchdowns in just eight games last season. He suffered a concussion against Georgia and opted out of the Cotton Bowl to prepare for the NFL draft.

With Gilbert in the fold, Florida (8-4 in 2020) has one less worry on an offense that needs to replace Pitts, QB Kyle Trask and WR Kadarius Toney in 2021. The Gators should once again be one of the teams to beat in the SEC East but are looking for QB Emory Jones (or someone else) to step up and seize the QB job ahead of next season.

Gilbert will also get a chance to play his old team, too. Florida and LSU are annual cross-division rivals in the SEC and their 2021 matchup is scheduled for Oct. 16.

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