Oklahoma quarterback Dillon Gabriel will return for another season with the program in a sign that the Sooners plan to stay the course at a key position after a frustrating debut campaign for coach Brent Venables. It will be Gabriel's fifth season of college football after the former UCF star transferred to Oklahoma for the 2022 season and reunited with former Golden Knights' offensive coordinator Jeff Lebby.
The Sooners finished 6-7, marking their first sub .500 campaign since 1998, but Gabriel posted impressive numbers in his return from a broken clavicle that ended his 2021 season after just three games. Gabriel threw for 3,168 yards, 25 touchdowns and just six interceptions, adding six scores on the ground as the Sooners ranked No., 14 nationally in total offense.
Ultimately, the offense could only do so much when juxtaposed with a defense that gave up 30 points per game and ranked No. 123 nationally in yards allowed. Gabriel also faced the unenviable task of following in a legacy of heralded quarterbacks at OU that included 2022 Heisman Trophy winner Caleb Williams, who starred as a true freshman at Oklahoma in 2021 before following coach Lincoln Riley to Oklahoma.
When compared to the promise of Williams and the production of former OU quarterbacks Jalen Hurts, Kyler Murray and Baker Mayfield, Gabriel's 2022 season marked a step back for the program in terms of sheer statistical production at quarterback. However, with the ranks of quality quarterbacks available in the transfer portal dwindling and Gabriel being a proven option at the position, his return likely marks a best-case scenario for the Sooners.