Dillon Gabriel: No QB competition for Oklahoma this fall

Oklahoma Sooners offensive coordinator Jeff Lebby said incoming UCF Knights transfer quarterback Dillon Gabriel “is our guy” looking ahead to the 2022 season. There will be no QB competition in Norman this offseason according to the report that came from Parker Thune of 247Sports on Wednesday night.

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This wasn’t much of a surprise when Gabriel announced his commitment in early January, but now there is no question who will line up at QB for the Sooners this fall after their top two QBs from last season left the team. After losing his starting spot to Caleb Williams, Spencer Rattler left for the South Carolina Gamecocks, while Williams followed Lincoln Riley to play for the USC Trojans. Additionally, the coaching switch led to the loss of Malachi Nelson, one of the top 2023 QB prospects.

Elsewhere on the Oklahoma roster, former Penn State Nittany Lions transfer Micah Bowens as the lone returning scholarship quarterback. Incoming true freshman Nick Evers was rated as a 4-star, top-8 QB in the Class of 2022 by all four of the major recruiting sites and is already enrolled.

Gabriel started 25 games with UCF and throughout his college career, he completed 60.7% of his passes for 8,037 yards with 70 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. He started the first three games of the 2021 season before suffering a broken collarbone that ended his season early.

Gabriel entered the transfer portal in late November and after originally committing to the UCLA Bruins shortly thereafter, he ultimately landed at Oklahoma - just hours after Williams went into the portal, filling the Sooners QB need.

Oklahoma will enter a new era as the Sooners brought in former Clemson Tigers defensive coordinator Brent Venables as the head coach to replace Riley. All of Venables’ coaching work has come on the defensive side of the ball, but the Sooners offense is in good hands with a veteran quarterback and Lebby running the offense after spending last season in the same position with the Ole Miss Rebels.

Lebby and Gabriel were together at UCF in 2019, and Gabriel hit the ground running as a true freshman with Lebby operating as the team’s offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.

Oklahoma is coming off an 11-2 overall record last season, capped off by a win over the Oregon Ducks in the Alamo Bowl. This was the first time the Sooners did not win the Big 12 since 2014, and they missed the College Football Playoff for the second consecutive season. Oklahoma is one of the few programs that label a non-CFP season a disappointment, and we’ll see if Gabriel can get the Sooners back to where they expect to be each year.

Dillon Gabriel was rated as a 3-star prospect out of Mililani High School in Mililani, Hawaii from the 2019 recruiting class.

Photo courtesy of UCFKnights.com

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