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LSU photo by Andrew Wevers / Former LSU tight end Arik Gilbert, the second-leading receiver for the Tigers last season, has decided to continue his career at Georgia.

The Georgia Bulldogs are effective enough recruiting five-star football prospects out of high school.

On Tuesday, they landed a pair through the NCAA transfer portal, receiving commitments from former LSU tight end Arik Gilbert and former Clemson cornerback Derion Kendrick. Georgia had yet to announce Gilbert or Kendrick as signees as of Tuesday night.

Gilbert was the nation's No. 1 tight end and the No. 5 overall prospect in the 2020 signing class, according to the 247Sports.com composite rankings, and he did not disappoint during his single season in Baton Rouge. The 6-foot-5, 249-pounder from the Atlanta suburb of Marietta racked up 35 receptions for 368 yards and two touchdowns for Ed Orgeron's Tigers, ranking second on the team.

His totals were compiled in eight games, as Gilbert opted out of the remainder of last season following a home loss to Alabama. Gilbert entered the transfer portal and committed to Florida in late January but opened up his recruitment and returned to Baton Rouge this spring.

Kendrick played in 34 career games at Clemson, compiling 63 tackles and three interceptions, but he missed multiple contests for disciplinary reasons last season and was dismissed from Dabo Swinney's program in February. The 6-foot, 190-pound former five-star receiver signee in 2018 was arrested in his hometown of Rock Hill, South Carolina, in March on misdemeanor charges of handgun possession and marijuana possession.

The Bulldogs had previously added two defensive backs through the portal, snagging Tykee Smith from West Virginia and Brandon Turnage from Alabama.

 

Vols reinstated

Two Tennessee freshmen, quarterback Kaidon Salter and linebacker Aaron Willis, are no longer suspended and are back participating in team activities.

Salter and Willis were among the four Volunteers who were arrested on misdemeanor drug charges that stemmed from a Stokely Hall incident in early March. The other players involved, redshirt freshman linebacker Martavius French and defensive tackle Isaac Washington, have since transferred.

The two highest-ranked members of Tennessee's 2021 signing class, Salter and Willis did not go through spring practice.

 

Mullen gets raise

Florida football coach Dan Mullen, who led the Gators to the 2020 Southeastern Conference Eastern Division title, has received a raise from $6.1 million to $7.6 million. Mullen's salary will now rank third in the league behind Alabama's Nick Saban ($9.5 million) and Orgeron ($8.7 million), and it's just ahead of Texas A&M's Jimbo Fisher ($7.5 million) and Georgia's Kirby Smart ($6.8 million).

"Dan has done a tremendous job in his three seasons at Florida, and we are fortunate to have someone with his obvious talents and head coaching experience leading our football program," Florida athletic director Scott Stricklin said in a statement. "I look forward to working alongside him to support his vision for Gators football and our student-athletes for many years."

Mullen, who is 29-9 through his first three seasons, also received an extension to January 2027.

 

More in portal

Alabama running back Keilan Robinson and Ole Miss linebacker Jacquez Jones entered the NCAA transfer portal Tuesday.

The 5-9, 190-pound Robinson is from Washington, D.C., and he rushed 39 times for 254 yards and two touchdowns as a freshman in 2019. He opted out of last season but did go through spring practice in Tuscaloosa.

Jones led Lane Kiffin's Rebels in tackles last season with 75 and compiled 182 tackles during his three seasons in Oxford with three forced fumbles.

Contact David Paschall at dpaschall@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6524.

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