Former top 10 overall recruit in the 2020 class, Arik Gilbert, announced his plan to enter the transfer portal today. In a since deleted tweet, Gilbert shared his announcement saying, "I'd like to announce that I’m verbally entering the transfer portal. I’d like to think god for all the blessings he bestows upon me."

Gilbert was a former top target for Alabama and chose LSU over the Tide and Georgia. On Dec. 9 Gilbert opted out for the remainder of the 2020 season, leaving senior Tory Carter to replace him.  Through his eight games played this season, Gilbert was third on the team in receiving with 35 catches for 368 yards and two touchdowns, and showed a lot of potential in his time on the field.

Chris Parent

Prior to opting out, Gilbert missed a Monday practice and reports claimed he was considering leaving the program, suggesting he was homesick and would be returning to him home state of Georgia.

Coach Ed Orgeron, in a press conference following Gilbert opting out, said he hoped to get him back in 2021, but also provided some insight on the large departure of players saying, "A year ago we were the best team in the country. We're going to find out who's really behind us," Orgeron said, "We're going to find out who really loves the Tigers."

Arik Gilbert was a five-star prospect out of Marietta High School and the number one player in Georgia before selecting LSU over the Bulldogs and Alabama. With reports claiming Gilbert's departure was due to him being homesick, it appears unlikely that the Tide will land the former top tight end. Although the 2020 class didn't see Alabama land a big time tight end, the rise of Jahleel Billingsley in recent weeks shows the position appears to be locked up for a few years to come.

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