Dillon Gabriel named top transfer for 1st-year Oklahoma Sooners head coach Brent Venables

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As soon as Caleb Williams entered the transfer portal, the Oklahoma Sooners plan at quarterback immediately went into effect. Dillon Gabriel, the former UCF quarterback who had committed to UCLA, flipped his commitment to the Oklahoma Sooners and became the presumptive starter for first-year offensive coordinator Jeff Lebby.

Though there’s been no official word Caleb Williams has found a new home, it’s expected he’ll find a new place to play. The Sooners aren’t all that concerned, having brought in Gabriel to lead the Sooners’ offense to kick-start the Brent Venables era.

David Kenyon at Bleacher Report took a look at each of the first-year head coaches and their top incoming transfer. For Venables and the Sooners, it’s Dillon Gabriel.

Under the expectation Caleb Williams leaves the Sooners, having a proven quarterback will be a luxury for Brent Venables. The former OU and longtime Clemson defensive coordinator swiped Dillon Gabriel, who initially committed to UCLA after deciding to transfer. The left-hander had 8,037 passing yards and 70 touchdowns to only 14 interceptions in 26 games at UCF. – David Kenyon, Bleacher Report

While football is a team game, the quarterback is undoubtedly the most critical position. With Gabriel, there’s an argument to be made that the Sooners are in as good shape in 2022 as they were at quarterback in 2021 with Spencer Rattler and Caleb Williams. His experience and production will help the Sooners weather the storm of the offensive transition they’re undertaking in 2022.

Of course, Oklahoma has made some solid transfer additions on the defensive side of the football, led by Jeffrey Johnson, Jonah Laulu, C.J. Coldon and Trey Morrison. Throw in Kani Walker, and the Oklahoma Sooners have added talent and depth to their 2022 roster. It all starts with the quarterback. Football is a quarterback’s game. Yes, it takes a host of other good players, but if the quarterback doesn’t play well, it is difficult to win.

The Oklahoma Sooners landed a quarterback who’s played a lot of good football in his college career. Gabriel’s experience with Lebby will help the Sooners adopt Lebby’s offense and return to contender status in 2022.

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Oklahoma Sooners 2022 transfer portal tracker