Elite LSU transfer Arik Gilbert says yes to the Florida Gators
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Elite LSU transfer Arik Gilbert says yes to the University of Florida

One of the more highly-regarded tight ends in recent memory says he is going to finish out his collegiate career at the University of Florida.

Arik Gilbert, who reeled in 35 receptions for 368 yards and two touchdowns in eight games played as a true freshman, has chosen Gainesville as his transfer destination after spending 2020 at LSU. He was LSU's biggest receiving threat once Terrace Marshall opted out for the 2021 NFL Draft and should become an instant starter in UF's tight end-friendly offensive attack.

Keon Zipperer, Kemore Gamble and Jonathan Odom will also be on the 2021 roster, along with freshmen Gage Wilcox and Nick Elksnis, so with the addition of Gilbert, UF forms one of the nation's deepest tight end rooms.

A product of Marietta, Georgia, Gilbert was a five-star prospect and Rivals' top-ranked tight end in the class of 2020. The likes of Alabama, Georgia, Oklahoma and Tennessee were considered possible landing spots as well, but when you factor in distance from home and the amount of success Kyle Pitts had in Dan Mullen's system, it's not difficult to understand why Gilbert ultimately joined forces with the Gators.

"This is about as good as it gets when you’re talking about an impact player in the portal," said National Recruiting Director Mike Farrell said once Gilbert entered the portal. "He can play WR or TE, has looked great at LSU in his first year and had the ceiling of a Kyle Pitts at the college level. He’ll be going to a national title contender I’m sure and will be an instant difference maker if used properly. He’s a freak of nature.”

With the addition of Gilbert, Florida has now reeled in three players from the NCAA Transfer Portal. Grad transfer and former Penn State defensive tackle, Antonio Shelton, is fresh off announcing for the Gators, while Auburn transfer Daquan Newkirk is now a Gator as well.

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