by LONN PHILLIPS SULLIVAN
While Arik Gilbert was called "mentally ill", a "drug addict", "drama queen" among other harsh names over the past months, LSU's coaching staff have backed their former / current / former player entirely: Coach Orgeron took shots for weeks straight after his "homesick" comments attempted to mask why Gilbert left; fellow teammates tweeted their support & love.
LSU had always propped the door open for a comeback.....but now, once LSU's support helped build Arik's confidence back up, "the Jimmy Sexton / Magill Society blood money" of Kirby Smart's Georgia comes back for a seat at the table.
Kirby understands UGA have a strong QB in J.T Daniels and need a prime target out wide to compete, however why are they feeling so confident about grabbing a letter of intent from Arik Gilbert, a young man who spurned their advances for LSU's high flying offense back in 2019???
Focus on the social aspect......of course we know Arik fits in perfectly on LSU's football roster, we definitely realize just how much the team loves Gilbert, but how will the #1 rated tight end in college football history fit as a student-athlete amongst the social environment he had to escape from only months ago?
That's what his parents are worried about.
Anything can happen:
Right now, as it stands:
Arik Gilbert has 6 hours left of credits to make up....a ridiculously small amount of work.
LSU have already met face to face with Arik back a month and a half ago before Gilbert returned back to Georgia.
Knowing his school work won't be too difficult, Gilbert will feel like he has options outside of LSU....and considering his rising confidence and character, we should see everyone from Florida to Georgia and even Alabama come flocking to get the #1 mismatch in America......but who will sign him? Where will he go?
After all the work he's done to get back to this point, after all the relationships he's had to mend at LSU, with all those admiring former teammates still left in Baton Rouge, after all the pictures of himself in purple and gold he's tweeted, following everything positive the Tigers have done for him during this incredibly public process, it would be extremely tough to see Gilbert spurn the Tigers at the 11th hour.
Here's the thing though: Arik has been in constant communication with a few confirmed Tigers and possibly more, talking at length about the possibility of his return and how soon it could happen...
It wasn't too long I thought the young man would have to go the junior college route just to get back to Division I, but with his academic situation not as bad as first feared, could Gilbert pick somewhere else due to the increased options?
How much will LSU's steadfast belief and support matter to Arik?
There's simply too much in my ear right now, with all sources correct....there are more than a few strong pathways for Arik's career, but none will ever come close to what LSU has to offer.
Who knows, as my buddy A.D says, this whole UGA talk could've been started purely by UGA fans as they jealously smack their lips....watching their prized asset leave for a second time to Baton Rouge.
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by LONN PHILLIPS SULLIVAN
Copyright 2021 Uninterrupted Writings Inc
SHOUTOUTS: Clayeth...a true brother. Love ya bro!