Updated: Mar 27, 2021
WELCOME NEW SUBSCRIBERS RWDOUCETT, JOHN, MUFFLER, TONY & RODNEY!
by LONN PHILLIPS SULLIVAN
As this site first reported, LSU were pursuing Arik Gilbert at all costs with a "full court press", intent to bring their brother back into the fold.
Today, those reports are bearing fruit as Arik didn't just enter into discussions with LSU, he's now visiting Baton Rouge today for the first time since he left in late December, first reported in early January.
Following a change in mindset for the teenager (who's been through hell and back in the unforgiving eye of the public), Coach Orgeron is ready to welcome their elite tight end back with open arms, although there will be objectives (both academically and disciplinary) that Gilbert must hit to maintain his presence on roster.
Offensive Coordinator Jake Peetz and in particularly D.J Mangas have been instrumental in the potential, now highly likely return of Arik Gilbert. Peetz made routine check-in calls, Mangas had heart to heart one on ones...they wanted this kid to know they cared.
WOULD ARIK COME BACK?
Probably not, but it wouldn't hurt to ask the kid how he was doing....
Then, the phone rang from the Gilberts....
Arik wanted to come back to Baton Rouge.
And now....here he is, meeting with Orgeron and possibly reuniting alongside former, maybe future teammates.
This situation is still heavily in flux...to put it mildly.
Gilbert's collegiate career has taken a bizarre trajectory, from his high school recruitment, freshman campaign, opt out and transfer from LSU, then joining Florida before bouncing out of Gator country (without ever stepping foot on campus) and now...visiting LSU????
This is just the type of story Orgeron loves....
If Gilbert & LSU's reunion happens, this will be one of the weirdest stories of all time...and one of the coolest:
He's taken a hard look at his academics, but it's obvious Arik will do far better in school at LSU than a place like Florida. Special Assistant (to Coach Orgeron) Derek Ponamsky will be all over him to make sure he's fulfilling his end of the bargain academically.
There's been unsubstantiated talk of everything from drug use to mental illness...
I'm not going to get into all of that right now...what I will get into is why Arik's new coaching staff and teammates are the perfect young men for him to be around right now.
Forget his past at LSU, his activities were more private than social anyway due to Covid-19's restrictions: Embrace his future.
The prodigal son returns and the father is still proud as ever, waiting and ready....Arik can make it happen here at Louisiana State...I said it a few weeks ago during my appearance on the Mark Rogers Show, "I don't think there's anywhere else he would want to be than LSU..." and it's bearing quicker fruit than we'd anticipated:
There's familiarity, there's comfort, there's support....now, he must make some changes or the same will happen again, but at LSU he can succeed in those new alterations in his life.
As far as on the football field?
This kid hasn't even begun to touch what's possible, especially in between a legit #1 WR such as Kayshon Boutte and Koy Moore, Jaray Jenkins, Trey Palmer among others on either flank out wide.
He hasn't seen the field at LSU with either a confident quarterback or smart play caller working in concert...it was always one or the other...
Throughout 2020, Arik constantly made plays against the grain, out of nowhere, just like his first ever touchdown against Miss State, towering over a defender to haul in Myles Brennan's floating duck. In fact, most interceptions came from forced targets in his direction.
Last year's offensive system never used Gilbert like we should've...
Under OC Jake Peetz and PGC D.J Mangas, the fire has renewed...and ultimate glory could be obtained if Gilbert can prove he's ready and committed through his actions.
I believe he is.
LSU have to get this right...you only get one shot with a once-in-a-generation talent, we now have earned two....there's no excuse for failure possessing a talent like this cat on offense.
Welcome back, big stunner...let's geaux...
by LONN PHILLIPS SULLIVAN
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