One of the interesting developments of Saturday’s Georgia match at Missouri was that tight match Arik Gilbert he traveled with the Bulldogs, although he didn’t dress up for the SEC showdown. Monday, head coach of Georgia Clever Kirby he explained the thinking behind the second year he made the trip.
Smart was asked about Gilbert on Monday and explained that the thought behind Gilbert’s inclusion was to keep him with the team. Smart explained that the Bulldogs are working to help Gilbert as he tries to make further progress with his game.
“We’re trying to develop it and carry it forward. It’s important that he’s there for meetings, wizards, being there with us, being with the team, being part of that connection,” said Smart. excellent relationship with the players. That’s why he was there. “
Smart was asked about Gilbert last week during the SEC coaches conference call. The Bulldogs head coach’s comments on the second tight end were brief, although he noted that the LSU relocation is practicing with the Bulldogs again.
“AG has practiced with us and continues to do so,” said Smart. “It will be day by day every day and he hopes he can help us this year.”
Gilbert was with the team and faced warm-up for last week’s game against Kent State but didn’t play. He hasn’t traveled with the team during his first away game in South Carolina the week before and hasn’t played since Samford’s game on September 17. 10.
Asked about Gilbert’s absence after the South Carolina game, the Bulldogs’ head coach Clever Kirby he didn’t have many details to share with reporters.
“All I can say is that he didn’t make the trip for personal reasons,” said Smart.[We’re] I hope you come back with us “.
Two days after South Carolina’s victory, Smart deemed Gilbert “day by day all week.”
Gilbert received a lot of attention as he entered the 2022 season for Georgia, but his two-game role was minimal. He played 13 snaps in the Bulldogs season opener against Oregon, but didn’t register a catch on 1 target; the following week, Gilbert played 10 shots but did not register a catch or a target.
Although Gilbert was unavailable, Georgia brought five tight ends to the South Carolina game.
Gilbert entered the spring with a lot of fanfare and quickly took advantage of extra reps due to absences from Brock Bowers And Darnell Washington throughout the spring and beyond Ryland fine after an injury suffered during the spring. Gilbert ended the spring on a positive note by receiving 3 passes for 49 yards and 2 touchdowns to help the black team defeat the red team on G-Day.
Smart explained on April 1 that Gilbert was somewhere around 265-270lbs but had worked diligently to get back in shape. Based on Van Pran’s comments, Gilbert’s efforts over the summer were worth it.
“His body has definitely changed. That guy is a monster, “Van Pran said.” Arik is like, you almost forget he came from somewhere else because he hugged the guys in the locker room so hard, and the guys hugged him. I think having Arik around is definitely a good thing for our team ”.
Smith also praised Gilbert, describing him as fast, quick and physical before adding that he is doing great on the Bulldogs schedule. Bennett pointed out that Gilbert understands how to open up in space as a receiver and how to work through the scramble drill, explaining that Gilbert continues to work to open up once the quarterback is on the move.
Bennett made it clear that Gilbert still has a long way to go, but he likes what he sees from the second tight end.
“[He’s] I’m still fixing it all up because it’s like he’s just arrived, “said Bennett.” He’s a really good football player. “
Gilbert’s journey up to this point has been something of a roller coaster.
National Gatorade Player of the Year while attending Marietta High School, the prospective five-star client began his college career at LSU. He received First Team Freshman All-SEC honors in 2020 after receiving 35 passes for 368 yards and two touchdowns for the Tigers.
Gilbert left LSU after his freshman season and initially moved to Florida before moving to Georgia last summer. He was a second All-American team selected by the PFF, but he wasn’t with the Bulldogs during the fall camp due to what Smart considered “personal problems”.
Gilbert didn’t dress for the Bulldogs in 2021, but he was with the team when they celebrated their national championship with a parade in Athens last January. 15.