Smart on Gilbert: “He’s currently enrolled in summer school, should be eligible.”
(Photo: Joe Biggerstaff/USA Today Sports)
Georgia head coach Kirby Smart gave an update on transfer wide receiver Arik Gilbert during his press conference at SEC Media Days.
Smart said that the former LSU tight end is expected to be cleared for the 2021 season.
“I fully expect him to be ready to start the season,” Smart said at the podium in Hoover. “He’s currently enrolled in summer school, so he should be eligible.”
Gilbert hauled in 35 passes for 368 yards and three touchdowns last season during his freshman campaign in Baton Rouge.
He is transferring back home to the Peach State to help replace wide receiver George Pickens, who suffered an ACL tear during spring practice back in March. Pickens usually lines up at the X-spot, which is where Gilbert is expected to play this upcoming season.
Georgia already has two proven tight ends in sophomore Darnell Washington and redshirt junior John FitzPatrick. Then, there’s incoming freshman Brock Bowers, who was one of the nation’s top-rated tight ends in the 2021 recruiting cycle. So, the stacked depth chart at tight end can allow Gilbert to play at the X-position, and line up alongside wide receivers Jermaine Burton and Kearis Jackson on the field at the same time.
Georgia quarterback J.T. Daniels said he’s been impressed with Gilbert through voluntary summer workouts.
“The most impressive thing with him for me is how much he loves football,” Daniels said, per DawgNation.com. “How much time he puts into it. It is impressive. There’s a lot of guys with great talent that like football. He’s a guy with great talent that loves football and it’s awesome to see.”
Daniels also bragged about Gilbert’s versatility on the field.
“He’s got the skill set to play a lot of positions in the game of football,” Daniels said.
The Marietta (Ga.) native chose LSU over other schools, including Georgia and Alabama out of high school. He spent one season in Baton Rouge, but he announced earlier this year that he would be entering the transfer portal. Less than a month later, Gilbert committed to Florida. However, he quickly backed off his pledge to the Gators and finished this past spring semester at LSU before making his final decision. Gilbert then chose Georgia and joined the program on June 1.