Dillon Gabriel has had an incredible season for the Oklahoma Sooners. He’s completed 70.5% of his passes for 3,069 yards, 25 touchdowns and only five interceptions. He also leads the team with 11 rushing touchdowns.
It has just been assumed that in Oklahoma’s first year in the SEC, they’ll have a new quarterback, former five-star Jackson Arnold. The coaches have even eluded to it. But either many don’t know or they haven’t put much thought into it, Gabriel could actually return to college football for one more season.
Let’s look at why. This is Gabriel’s fifth season in college. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the NCAA granted a redshirt season for every player in 2020. Then in 2021 he only played three games due to injury which falls under the four-game redshirt rule. So Gabriel has one more year of eligibility available should he choose to use it.
Brent Venables spoke about Gabriel possibly returning to Norman next season. “We haven’t had those conversations,” Venables said. “He’s played a long time. He’s been through a lot. I think a year ago maybe, the talk was he had a good year, why would you want to come back? You could come back and have a bad year. But what’s he done? He’s come back and had an even better year. He’s played a lot of college football. He’s had to overcome some injuries. Lots of different types of ailments and injuries. We haven’t talked about that though.”
Venables doesn’t say it but I expect this to be Gabriel’s last season in college football. There’s an outside chance he decides to continue his college playing career but my guess would be for him to play somewhere else if he decides that.
I think Oklahoma and the coaches are fully confident in Arnold and seeing what kind of future he has.