Arik Gilbert is looking for a new home.
The former Marietta High School standout and 2020 Gatorade Boys High School Athlete of the Year, decided to leave LSU after one season and enter the transfer portal.
Gilbert made the announcement on Twitter on Saturday.
“I’d like to announce that I’m verbally entering the transfer portal,” Gilbert said. “I’d like to think god for all the blessings he bestows upon me.”
The news was first reported by the Advocate in Baton Rouge, La., and ESPN. The tweet was later taken down.
Gilbert opted out of LSU’s last two games of the season in December. At the time, it was reported the 6-foot-5, 249-pound tight end was homesick and that his body hurt.
Gilbert started from Day 1 when he arrived on campus and finished his season with 35 passes for 368 yards and two touchdowns.
If he were to transfer, Gilbert may have to sit out a season at a new school, although there is a good chance the NCAA will offer a one-time transfer exemption in 2021 allowing players to play immediately. The former five-star recruit also had offers from Georgia, Alabama, Auburn, Clemson and many others coming out of high school.
One player who would like to see him join his team is former Marietta quarterback Harrison Bailey, who is now at Tennessee. He said so minutes after Gilbert made his announcement.
“Let’s run it back,” Bailey tweeted.
If it is true that Gilbert would want to play closer to home, Knoxville would put him within a four-hour drive of Marietta. It would also reunite him with Bailey, who is expected to be the Vols’ starting quarterback next season — two years after the duo connected on 102 receptions for 1,735 yards and 14 touchdowns during Marietta’s run to the 2019 Class AAAAAAA state championship.
Georgia could also be a potential location, but the Bulldogs signed 5-star tight end Darnell Washington in the 2020 class, and he finished the season with seven catches for 166 yards.
They also have signed 4-star Brock Bowers in the 2021 class, and former 4-star Ryland Goede, from Kennesaw Mountain, is also on the roster.