Smart has made that adjustment a priority, in terms of how he has managed the former 5-star prospect from Marietta.
“I’m always a lot more concerned with Arik’s well-being mentally, than his well-being just on knowing assignments and what to do,” Smart said during preseason camp.
“That’s the most important thing is that he feels comfortable with our team and can help us.”
The Bulldogs’ tight end snaps this season have been dominated by returning starters Brock Bowers (83 snaps) and Darnell Washington (76), while Gilbert has played just 23 snaps — 13 against Oregon and 10 against Samford.
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“It’s (playing time) really based on Arik’s performance, it’s not really based on those guys,” Smart said on Tuesday, asked about Gilbert’s playing time this season.
“I think the sky is the limit in terms of his talent and things,” Smart said.
“The consistency and performance he has to have, he has to have consistency in practice,” he said. “That is something he needs to work on and strive on. Nobody wants it more than he does.”
The Bulldogs are a 25-point favorite over the Gamecocks.
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