Dillon Gabriel explains why he chose the Oregon Ducks

Just a few months ago, Oregon Duck fans watched as one of the most successful quarterbacks in recent school history walked off of the football field for the final time in a green and yellow uniform.

With Bo Nix leaving Eugene, it wasn’t exactly clear where the Ducks would go at the QB position in the future, but it was easy to see that the next guy up would have some massive shoes to fill.

Dillon Gabriel wanted to be that guy.

Back in early December, the former Oklahoma Sooners’ QB announced that he would be continuing his college career, but with a new school. He hopped into the transfer portal, and not long after, announced that he would be heading to Eugene.

“I knew the opportunity from talking to Coach Lanning, and kind of what it all presented, it really was a no-brainer,” Gabriel said on Tuesday after practice. “You know, with everyone coming back and just kind of knowing what was coming in as well, it was a no-brainer.”

As a Hawaii native, Gabriel has been enjoying life on the West Coast and says that the transition process has been pretty positive thus far, getting settled over the past couple of months.

“I love Eugene, I love the area,” Gabriel said. “It’s closer to home so I can’t complain and the adjustment period has been real. You know, being new to any place and kind of transferring, there’s the ebbs and flows that you learn and grow through. But you know, being where I’m at in my last year, it’s been super refreshing to be able to have that.”

With life at Oregon comes expectations, though. The Ducks are projected as a top-five team in 2024, with an assumption that they will compete for a Big Ten Championship and spot in the College Football Playoff. While Gabriel will try to lead them to that success, he will have to worry about trying to fill Nix’s shoes as well.

That’s something he is ready for.

“I’ve filled a bunch of shoes,” Gabriel said. “It’s the next quarterback up. It’s time, it’s ebbs and flows. You know, after me there’ll be another one. So, I’m just doing my part.”

Doing his part on a team that he grew up rooting for. Not much to dislike about that.

Story originally appeared on Ducks Wire