Oklahoma football: Dillon Gabriel says he’s coming back in 2023

Dec 29, 2022; Orlando, Florida, USA; Oklahoma Sooners quarterback Dillon Gabriel (8) runs with the ball against the Florida State Seminoles in the first quarter during the 2022 Cheez-It Bowl at Camping World Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 29, 2022; Orlando, Florida, USA; Oklahoma Sooners quarterback Dillon Gabriel (8) runs with the ball against the Florida State Seminoles in the first quarter during the 2022 Cheez-It Bowl at Camping World Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports /
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Dillon Gabriel made it official on Thursday. The Sooner starting quarterback will return for the 2023 Oklahoma football season.

The former UCF transfer announced via Twitter, Forever Home. Let’s do it again in 2023. This island boy found a home in Oklahoma.”

Although the expectations were that Gabriel would return to OU for another season, he had not said anything to confirm his future plans until this time.

That’s one big shoe to drop regarding Oklahoma’s plans for next season. Now Sooner fans, as well as the coaching staff, are anxiously awaiting to learn about what star wide receiver Marvin Mims decides about his future.  Those close to the program have indicated it could go either way with Mims. He obviously is mulling over whether the timing is right for him to declare for the NFL Draft or if he could improve his draft stock with another college season.

With Gabriel returning for another season (he also would have another year of eligibility beyond 2023 if he elected to use it), Jackson Arnold, the Sooners’ top recruit in the 2023 class and designee as OU’s quarterback of the future, will be able to learn and develop under him. OU is relatively thin at the quarterback position. Only Davis Beville, a former Pittsburgh transfer, has thrown a collegiate pass.

Gabriel finished the 2022 season completing 63 percent of his passes for 3,163 yards, 25 touchdowns and six interceptions. He missed a game and a half after a hard hit by a TCU defender put him in the concussion protocol. The OU quarterback also gained 315 yards on the ground, including six rushing touchdowns.

A native of Mililani, Hawaii, Gabriel was named Big 12 Newcomer of the Year by the league coaches and received the same honor from the Associated Press.