LSU & MARIJUANA: THE ARIK GILBERT SITUATION



by LONN PHILLIPS SULLIVAN

@LonnPhillips


Regardless of every LSU media outlet's optimism (including our own), Arik Gilbert departed the LSU program and went to an in-conference rival, joining Dan Mullen's Florida Gators, taking his absurd, near supernatural talents to Gainesville...which tells me a few things:


FIRST: All LSU media were being fed the same schlock from inside LSUHQ....that LSU were gaining ground on getting Gilbert back...how Coach O wasn't resting until he brought #2 back to campus....I even had one of the biggest names within LSU's program (and an exclusive LSU ODYSSEY source) tell us there was a 7-8/10 chance Gilbert was coming back....


I shouldn't have fallen for it....I knew deep within the lining of my esophagus (where my instincts lie) that Gilbert would be removing a chunk of his soul if he returned to LSU.

Too much happened, too much was said, not to mention the bad influences he surrounded himself with at LSU won out in the end...

How could he come back to a place where everyone called him a "quitter"?

Where too many people knew too much about his personal life???

Embarrassment and pride play roles...how could they not? Remember, this is an 18 year old...

Arik is a teenager....


I support this young man through anything coming his way. I don't feel one bit of anger for his departure...I feel sadness, emptiness....yet another "what could've been" at LSU...


SECOND: Dan Mullen now has a prime athlete on his hands out wide, just as he did with Kyle Pitts or Van Jefferson over the past two seasons....remember, Van Jefferson caught 5 passes (including a touchdown) on Derek Stingley Jr himself in the 2019 game...Pitts had an explosive season sending his NFL Draft stock to the top of the heap, and now the highest rated tight end in college football history will wear blue and orange next year, taking on his old school LSU as well.

"To say Arik Gilbert wants revenge against LSU is an understatement," I'm told from a notable Georgia-native & family friend of the Gilberts.


THIRD: LSU need to stop giving certain players 3-5 chances in which they can leave the team, rejoin, leave again, come back when the games finally start, take off again...and then come back....(Justin Thomas, Dare Rosenthal to name a few)...it's become sacrificial & damning to the team itself, especially when members of the Tigers recruiting staff have to beg a player on our current roster to stay right in the middle of NSD....


In the aftermath of the Arik Gilbert transfer, with a foreboding sense of anything being possible when it comes to further transfers (no matter how unlikely they may seem right now on February 1st, things change very quickly) the Tigers' #1 priorities for me have to be:

Reinforcing the brand....

Circling the wagons....protecting home.

At this point, what would be the most damaging hit to LSU's 2021 season?

Losing half of our quarterback room or Eli Ricks to a transfer...


Even if LSU miss out on Raesjon Davis & Brian Thomas at the tail end of this 2021 cycle, the Tigers still have options to make up for those misses...

As for replacing Arik Gilbert....it may be impossible to find anyone possessing his same physical traits, attributes or prestige, but if there's a guy who could come close....if there's a kid who could not only be more productive & versatile than Arik was....

...this offensive force would have to be 2021 freshman JACK BECH....

The WR / TE / HB combo is not as big or as thick as Arik Gilbert right now (6'2, 215 isn't quite 6'5 253), however with a little help from LSU Strength & Conditioning mastermind Tommy Moffitt (a wizard, a true star), Bech could provide the same production levels as Gilbert...not only that, Jack is a true brutalizer in pass protection or blocking off the edge.


There's 3 big happenings Tigers fans need to pay attention to in the wake of the Arik Gilbert news:


  1. Gilbert was close to a number of guys, including Eli Ricks and B.J Ojulari....

Don't expect transfers from these two, but keep an eye on things.

Eli already had to be talked out of transferring once in the last month...remember, when I first reported that story, many of you called it fake news etc...didn't turn out to be so fake, now did it?


2. How does this high profile transfer affect the outside perception of LSU right now? Does this usher the return of November-December's opt-outs, transfers, tumultuous inner-squad turmoil??

I don't sense that at all...

Yes....LSU lost a huge piece of footballing greatness in Gilbert...although let me ask you this very serious question:

Prior to the announcement yesterday, were you counting on Arik Gilbert for 2021 LSU?

I wasn't, because I knew what had happened couldn't be repaired...

From now on, I'm following my instincts 100%...


The third and final piece of fallout from Gilbert's transfer ALL Tigers fans should watch out for?


3. Will this situation force LSU to alter their drug testing rules, potentially making marijuana a non-punishable substance??


There was strong talk within the LSU athletic department about amending / softening the penalties for players who test positive for marijuana; as the Tigers just lost one of the most talented athletes to ever walk on LSU's campus and could watch another transcendental transfer depart to a more weed-lenient program....

Think about it...we even lost out on watching Tyrann Mathieu's junior season due to LSU's medieval treatment of the softest recreational drug.

Let's face the facts...if I'm an LSU Tiger and I smoked a joint last night, wake up, pee in a cup and test dirty, only to find Coach O about to suspend me while saying what I just did was "a character flaw" for Jack Marucci to keep an eye on, well of course you're going to consider packing your bags.

"Would you rather me drinking shot after shot of Jack Daniels, Coach?"

Compared to Alabama, Auburn, Florida especially, LSU's drug punishments are behind the times and must be done away with before LSU find themselves losing recruits and our own players due to an obsession with "regulating lifestyles".


It's an interesting philosophical crossroads LSU find themselves at....

ARE LSU ABOUT TO GEAUX GREEN?


BLACK LIVES MATTER

by LONN PHILLIPS SULLIVAN

@LonnPhillips

Copyright 2021 Uninterrupted Writings Inc LLC


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