Just over a month after former 5-star tight end Arik Gilbert announced he would be transferring to Florida, he has since backed off that pledge.
Gilbert announced on Twitter that he was de-committing and would announce his school of choice once he is officially enrolled at a school.
“I have decided to decommit from the university of Florida and re-enter the portal,” Gilbert tweeted. “I will not be announcing my final decision until i am enrolled into school and on campus.”
Gilbert spent his freshman season at LSU, catching 35 passes for 368 yards and two touchdowns. The Marietta, Ga., native was the top player in the state of Georgia for the 2020 recruiting cycle and the highest-rated tight end prospect in the history of recruiting rankings.
Given the success Dan Mullen and Florida had with Kyle Pitts this past season, Florida seemed like a rational landing spot for Gilbert. Georgia was heavily involved in his recruitment coming out of high school but he ultimately signed with LSU. Georgia did land 5-star athlete Darnell Washington in the 2020 cycle. He caught seven passes for 166 yards in his freshman season.
Related: Arik Gilbert may have been a want for Georgia football, but he wasn’t a need for tight end room
The Bulldogs signed 4-star tight end Brock Bowers in the 2021 recruiting cycle and are heavily involved in the recruitment of the nation’s top tight end in the 2022 cycle in Oscar Delp.
One possible reason why Gilbert reneged on the decision to go to Florida is that the NCAA has not yet approved the one-time transfer rule. There is also the fact that the SEC has a rule that forces players who transfer within the conference to sit out a season, even if they are granted a waiver by the NCAA. The league did waive this rule for the 2020 season and pointed to the unprecedented nature of the pandemic as to why.