Arik Gilbert made it official Sunday night that he’s not returning to LSU.
Instead, he decided to transfer to an SEC team that LSU beat this past season on the road with just 54 available scholarship players four days after he quit the team.
“After careful consideration I have decided to commit to the University of Florida,” Gilbert said on social media Sunday evening. “This is the best situation for me and I’m excited to join the family.”
Rated as the No. 1 tight end in the nation in 2019 starring for Marietta (Ga.) High, Gilbert was a day one starter last season as freshman for LSU. In eight games with the Tigers, he had 35 receptions for 368 yards and two touchdowns.
Gilbert told LSU coach Ed Orgeron on Dec. 8 he was “opting out” because he said “his body was hurting, and he had some things he had to take care of,” Orgeron said.
Because of COVID-19, the NCAA granted an extra year of eligibility to all athletes who were enrolled in 2020, meaning Gilbert is immediately eligible to play for Florida.
Florida plays LSU annually as the Tigers’ crossover opponent from the SEC’s Eastern Division. The Gators are scheduled in the upcoming season to play LSU in Tiger Stadium on Oct. 16.
Gilbert’s welcome will likely not be warm.