Former UCF quarterback Dillon Gabriel announced that he will flip his commitment as a transfer from UCLA to Oklahoma. Gabriel will make an immediate impact with the Sooners as an experienced quarterback.
This news came hours after Oklahoma quarterback Caleb Williams announced his entrance into the transfer portal. Williams kept the door open for a return to Oklahoma, but the news of Gabriel heading to Norman, Okla., will likely drive Williams away from the Sooners.
The transfer from UCF to Oklahoma means that Gabriel will reunite with one of his former offensive coordinators at UCF, Jeff Lebby. For the 2022 season, Lebby was hired by head coach Brent Venables as Oklahoma’s offensive coordinator.
Gabriel initially transferred to UCLA in December and was scheduled to begin classes on Monday at UCLA. Instead, he will be attending school in Norman and playing in the Big 12. Gabriel is coming off a tough 2021 season where he was injured early in the season against Louisville and he did not return for the remainder of the season. He played in a total of three games and passed for 818 yards, nine touchdowns, and three interceptions.
This was Gabriel’s first season playing with new head coach Gus Malzahn, who was hired after the 2020 season. In his first two seasons at UCF, he saw a lot of success under head coach Josh Heupel. As a freshman, he threw for 3,653 yards in 2019 and 3,570 in his sophomore season.
With Oklahoma, he will have an opportunity to stake his claim as the team’s primary quarterback for 2022. Oklahoma is not unfamiliar with bringing in transfer quarterbacks and allowing them to flourish in a new system. Most recently, Baker Mayfield, Kyler Murray, and Jalen Hurts transferred to Oklahoma and finished their college careers with the Sooners. All three were either Heisman Trophy winners or candidates. Gabriel will hope to have similar success playing for the Oklahoma Sooners as a transfer quarterback.