Arik Gilbert-Georgia football-cleared
LSU tight end Arik Gilbert celebrates after scoring during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Missouri Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020, in Columbia, Mo. (AP Photo/L.G. Patterson)
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Arik Gilbert expected to be cleared: ‘Obviously he’s special’

HOOVER, Ala. — Georgia coach Kirby Smart provided some good news on the Arik Gilbert front on Tuesday when he told reporters that wide receiver Arik Gilbert is expected to be cleared for the 2021 season.

“Fully expect him to be ready to start the season,” Smart said. “He’s currently enrolled in summer school, should be eligible.”

Gilbert transferred to Georgia after spending his freshman season at LSU where he caught 35 passes for 368 yards and two touchdowns.

He will play wide receiver for the Bulldogs after arriving playing tight end for LSU. Gilbert was the highest-ranked tight end in the history of the 247Sports Composite rankings

“The most impressive thing with him for me is how much he loves football,” Georgia quarterback JT Daniels said. “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.”

Gilbert will be counted on to make for the loss of injured wide receiver George Pickens, who suffered an ACL injury in March.

“He’s got the skillset to play a lot of positions in the game of football,” Daniels said. “You try out and put your playmakers where they have the best chance to make plays. So wherever that is for him I’m sure they’ll figure it out.”

Related: Ed Orgeron: Arik Gilbert ‘going to be an All-American, 1st-round pick

Smart also provided details for the first time about why it was important about adding Gilbert to the Georgia roster.

The head coach is well aware of what kind of impact Gilbert can have on Georgia’s national championship hopes.

With Arik, anytime you can get a skill player that can do things with the ball, you’re always looking to be dynamic,” Smart said. “You look at teams that have won the national championship recently, they’re most dynamic on offense and at the skill positions.”

Gilbert and the Bulldogs will open the season on Sept. 4 against Clemson. Georgia will look to Gilbert to make a difference in that game.

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