Florida head coach Dan Mullen reacts during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Mississippi in Oxford, Miss., Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020. Mullen was given several more chances Monday, Oct. 12, 2020, to walk back bizarre comments about wanting to pack 90,000 screaming fans inside Florida Field during the coronavirus pandemic. He declined each of them, brushing aside criticism and insisting he's focused on defending national champion LSU. (AP Photo/Thomas Graning)

LSU Transfer Tight End, Arik Gilbert, De-commits From Florida

That was quick. Arik Gilbert, the five-star tight end transfer from LSU has decommitted from Florida, less than a month after he committed.

This is huge news for the college football community, not only because of the new NCAA transfer eligibility rules that grants players immediate eligible, but because of how talented he is.

Coming out of high school, Gilbert was:

  • 2020 Gatorade National Player of The Year
  • No. 1-ranked tight-end in his class
  • Five-star recruit

In his eight games before opting-out at LSU, he was:

  • third on the team in receptions (35)
  • fourth in receiving yards (368)

Seeing Kyle Pitts win the Mackey Award and Dan Mullen turning a career bench quarterback into a Heisman candidate didn’t appear enticing enough for Gilbert. Although, Pitts did his job off the field and got Gilbert to commit to Florida initially.

But it can’t be assumed that Arik’s decision is based strictly on the system he was joining at Florida. There could be other factors that haven’t been mentioned. Plus, he is only 19 years old, he is still a kid figuring things out.

Yet, the opportunity to thrive and win at Florida is there. However, it still might not be the right place for him.

Florida’s Tight End Group

Florida already has a solid tight end group on campus:

  • Keon Zipperer, junior
  • Kemore Gamble, red-shirt senior
  • Jonathan Odom, red-shirt freshman
  • Nick Elksnis, freshman
  • Gage Wilcox, freshman

Tight end coach Tim Brewster said “we got, I think, a really talented room.”

Brewster is impressed with the development in strength, speed and athleticism from the returners. He notes that they are becoming more complete players at their position. Gamble and Zipperer played very well last season, stepping up big when Pitts was not available. Freshman Elksnis has been impressing Brewster early in spring practice, too.

Granted, with Gilbert’s skillset, he would get majority of the work load. One thing to remember, he can always re-commit to Florida. Maybe he is just weighing all his options. For now, he is back in the transfer portal and will receive heavy attention from a lot of schools.

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