UGASports - Arik Gilbert has joined the Georgia Bulldogs
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Arik Gilbert has joined the Georgia Bulldogs

One of the more unpredictable transfer sagas in recent memory has come to a close. Arik Gilbert, a native of Marietta, Georgia, and a former LSU Tiger, is transferring to the Georgia Bulldogs.

Gilbert is an immensely talented pass-catching tight end. He combines dexterity and athleticism in a 6-foot-5, 250-pound frame that is hard to defend. Gilbert used his abilities during his freshman year at LSU to rack up 368 yards and two touchdowns in eight games.

After entering the transfer portal at the end of last season, Gilbert once again became one of the most sought-after prospects in the country. Alabama, Georgia, Georgia Tech, and Clemson were all heavily involved in trying to land the transfer. Gilbert committed to the Florida Gators on January 31, 2021. Less than a month later, the Gators lost that commitment. The tremendous use of Kyle Pitts at Florida under Dan Mullen, in the 2020 season in particular, no doubt was enticing, but ultimately wasn't enough to make Gilbert feel at home.

Sources have indicated that being closer to home was a big factor for Gilbert and his family. In coming to Georgia, Gilbert is roughly 80 miles from not only his hometown of Marietta but also his primary training facility. Gilbert trains with all-time Georgia great Terrence Edwards and has for quite some time.

Sources tell us at UGASports that Gilbert is coming to Georgia as an athlete. With George Pickens missing significant time for Georgia this season, Gilbert is one athlete who's built and skilled in a similar enough fashion to give offensive coordinator Todd Monken a nightmare matchup on corners, safeties, and linebackers. Gilbert is more than capable of putting his hand in the dirt and serving as a traditional tight end in sets, but with Darnell Washington, Brock Bowers, and John FitzPatrick on the roster, we are told its much more likely that you will see Gilbert being used in the X-receiver position, split out wide, or in the slot as detached Y.

Kirby Smart, Monken, and the entire Georgia staff now have even more personnel groupings and possibilities heading into the 2021 campaign. Of course, Gilbert and all intraconference transfers will be awaiting the ruling of SEC Presidents on June 3 on non-graduate transfers having immediate eligibility. The expectation is the motion will be approved, meaning Gilbert will be eligible to play this fall for the Bulldogs.