Five-star tight end Arik Gilbert commits to Gators

The Georgia native is arguably the top tight end prospect of the modern recruiting era.
Arik Gilbert signed with LSU as one of the top tight end prospects ever.
Arik Gilbert signed with LSU as one of the top tight end prospects ever. [ GERALD HERBERT | AP ]
Published Feb. 1, 2021|Updated Feb. 1, 2021

The Florida Gators will be replacing one transcendent tight end with another.

Former five-star prospect Arik Gilbert announced Sunday evening that he plans to transfer from LSU to Florida.

Gilbert was one of the most hyped tight ends of the modern recruiting era. The 6-foot-5, 253-pound Georgia native was the No. 5 recruit in the 2020 recruiting class, according to the 247Sports composite rankings. The site also considers him the best tight end prospect in its history. He was the first tight end ever to win the Gatorade National Player of the Year award —an honor that goes back to 1985.

Gilbert finished his freshman season with 35 catches for 368 yards and two touchdowns.

Related: Florida Gators 2021 football schedule released

He has the potential to flourish in UF’s offense. Gilbert will be asked to help replace Kyle Pitts, the Mackey Award winner and presumptive first-round pick.

Gilbert is the latest big addition UF has made through the transfer portal. The Gators’ other recent portal pickups include five-star running back Demarkcus Bowman (a Lakeland High product and former Clemson signee) and a pair of defensive tackles, Daquan Newkirk (from Auburn) and Antonio Shelton (from Penn State).