Neither Brent Venables or Dillon Gabriel confirmed that the quarterback would be returning to the Oklahoma Sooners in 2023 following their loss to Texas Tech.
If this was Gabriel’s only year as a Sooner, it was one to remember. The southpaw quarterback was named the Big 12 Newcomer of the Year while tossing 24 touchdowns to only six interceptions. Gabriel was good. Gabriel was very good.
However, there’s a bit of a problem. His name is Jackson Arnold.
The five-star quarterback from Denton Guyer is one of the top prospects in the 2023 class and is currently on a playoff run. Arnold will be taking on Southlake Carroll in the 6A Division 2 quarterfinals this week.
Arnold has the makings of a future stud, and he’s coming to Norman very soon. The last time a highly touted QB prospect came through Norman, the older quarterback was booed. We all remember the “we want Caleb” chants.
Will Dillon Gabriel stick around?
His draft stock is nowhere near good enough to justify declaring for the draft as a redshirt junior and he’s already used his one transfer. If he wants to do so again, he will need a waiver.
So, it seems likely that Gabriel will return to Norman in 2023. Here’s where we could run into some trouble.
If Gabriel has one bad game, god forbid a bad game at home, the fans will be calling for Jackson Arnold to come in. The “we want Jackson” chants will rain down on Owen Field.
Dillon Gabriel doesn’t deserve that, nor did Spencer Rattler.
Gabriel was the perfect guy to run Jeff Lebby’s offense in year one. He is the one who made the offense work. The Sooners were a complete disaster without him. Is he the greatest quarterback in the world? No, he’s not. But he’s a darn good one.
Will he come back? Probably. Hopefully he will be welcomed back with open arms.
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