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Transfer Tracker: LSU TE, former five-star Arik Gilbert, hits portal

Arik Gilbert
Arik Gilbert (LSU)

The Transfer Portal has changed the landscape of college football. So at Rivals we bring you the Transfer Tracker, where we analyze players entering the portal and rate them on what kind of impact they could make at their new home.

Next up in the tracker: LSU tight end and former five-star Arik Gilbert.


CLASS OF 2021 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | Position | Team | State


A national recruit from early in his high school career, Gilbert shocked the recruiting world when he committed to LSU over Alabama, Georgia, Oklahoma and several others.


Gilbert stepped right into the lineup this season as a true freshman and quickly became one of the Tigers biggest offensive weapons. Through eight games, he had 35 catches for 368 yards and two touchdowns and following the opt-out of draft-bound Terrace Marshall, was clearly LSU's biggest threat in the receiving game. After rumors about Gilbert surfaced late in the fall, he announced his plans to enter the portal in early January.


Gilbert should be one of the most sought-after transfers in years and with the ability to play right away, all possibilities are open. Conventional thinking would be that Georgia and Alabama will factor in, but don't count out Oklahoma, who was also a major factor in his recruitment down the stretch and by some accounts finished second to the Tigers. Tennessee could also be a landing spot, giving Gilbert the chance to pair with his high school quarterback, Harrison Bailey.


"This is about as good as it gets when you’re talking about an impact player in the portal. He can play WR or TE, has looked great at LSU in his first year and had the ceiling of a Kyle Pitts at the college level. He’ll be going to a national title contender I’m sure and will be an instant difference maker if used properly. He’s a freak of nature.”-- National Recruiting Director Mike Farrell.

Impact rating: 9.9


The Transfer Portal continues to change the way college football programs recruit and mange their rosters so we here at continue to evolve our coverage. Each time a player of note enters the portal, we will examine their potential impact on the college football landscape and assign an impact rating, both when they enter the portal and when they choose a destination. The scale is from 1-10 and the description below explains the scoring scale.

1.1-4.0 — Not a big impact expected, likely a non-starter and down the bench depth player.

4.1- 6.0 — A solid impact can be expected in the right scenario and has the potential to battle for a starting job.

6.1-9.0. — A high impact player who won’t change a program but will certainly be a very good contributor and starter.

9.1- 9.9 — A very high impact player who should start the moment he steps on the field and will change the outlook of a program immediately.

10 — A franchise transfer who has a chance to be an All American and one of the elite players in college football.