Nebraska’s tight end room gained an intriguing addition from the transfer portal today in Arik Gilbert. The former top-10 national recruit, who spent time at both LSU and Georgia, has committed to the Huskers.
Gilbert, a 6-foot-5, 255-pounder, was the No. 9 overall recruit and No. 1-rated tight end in the 2020 class out of Marietta, Georgia. The former five-star athlete and Gatorade National Player of the Year chose LSU out of high school before transferring to Georgia.
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He is the No. 6 tight end and No. 92 overall player in the Rivals transfer rankings, and he has a 5.8 player rating. He joins safety Corey Collier Jr. (No. 73 overall) as the Huskers’ second transfer addition ranked in the top 100.
Gilbert, who has up to three years of eligibility remaining, is the Huskers’ 10th transfer portal addition of the offseason. Nebraska got him on campus for a visit in mid-January, and Matt Rhule and Bob Wager were able to land his commitment. He will need a waiver from the NCAA to play in 2023 because it is his second transfer.
Gilbert had a great true freshman season in 2020, playing in eight of LSU’s 10 games. He showed off his ability to be a dynamic receiving target as he caught 35 passes for 368 yards and two touchdowns.
Gilbert entered the transfer portal following his freshman season at LSU and landed at Georgia after initially committing to Florida out of the portal. He stepped away from the team for personal reasons in August 2021, though, and never played during the 2021 season.
Gilbert returned to Georgia’s team in January 2022 and played in three games last season behind other talented tight ends in John Mackey Award winner Brock Bowers, Darnell Washington and highly rated freshman Oscar Delp. The most action Gilbert saw was against Vanderbilt, where he caught two passes for 16 yards and one touchdown.
Gilbert joins a Nebraska tight end room that loses its top two contributors in Travis Vokolek and Chancellor Brewington. The room currently lacks experience and production as the other scholarship tight ends in it include Thomas Fidone II, Chris Hickman, AJ Rollins, James Carnie, Chase Androff and Brodie Tagaloa.
Nebraska hosted tight end Brett Seither, Gilbert’s teammate at Georgia, for a visit in mid-January, but Seither chose to play for Georgia Tech next season.
Gilbert is Nebraska’s second transfer addition from Georgia, joining OLB MJ Sherman, and he is the Huskers’ sixth transfer from the SEC.
He is the 12th player from the portal to be added to Rhule’s roster as receivers Zavier Betts and Isaiah Garcia-Castaneda withdrew from the portal and returned to Nebraska. Betts left the team for personal reasons in March 2022 while Garcia-Castaneda entered the transfer portal on Oct. 11, four games into the 2022 season, but chose to return.
The deadline for players to enter the portal was Jan. 18, and the deadline for players to join the program and still be eligible to participate in spring practices is Jan. 23 – the first day of classes in the second semester at Nebraska.
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