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#pounditTuesday, June 18, 2024

Oklahoma coach makes interesting admission about Dillon Gabriel leaving

Brent Venables in a hat

Brent Venables opened his tenure as OU football coach with a rousing victory against UTEP on Sept 4. Photo Credit: BRYAN TERRY/THE OKLAHOMAN / USA TODAY NETWORK

Oklahoma Sooners head coach Brent Venables made an interesting admission on Thursday about Dillon Gabriel leaving the program.

Venables spoke with the media to talk about his team’s upcoming Alamo Bowl game against Arizona in San Antonio, Texas on Dec. 28. While talking with the media on Thursday, Venables addressed Gabriel’s decision to hit the transfer portal. V

enables made some interesting admissions, saying that the Sooners went into the season believing that Gabriel would not be with the program in 2024. Their idea always was that Gabriel would go the NFL, which would clear a path for backup quarterback Jackson Arnold to become the starter.

“I think Dillon had every intention to go to the NFL. In his mind, this was going to be his last season. Quite frankly, we didn’t plan to go into the 2024 season without Dillon Gabriel,” Venables said, though he meant they did not plan to go into 2024 with Gabriel.

What’s also interesting is that Venables said the starting job in 2024 wouldn’t necessarily have been Gabriel’s. He said that Gabriel would have had to compete for the starting quarterback job.

“Dillon knows, and certainly he was more than welcome to stay and compete to be the quarterback of the University of Oklahoma,” Venables said.

Some (including LBS) assumed that Gabriel maybe wanted another pay day and that’s why he entered the transfer portal. But it kind of sounds like Oklahoma had plans to move on without him, and Gabriel understood that and is ready to open the door for Arnold.

Arnold went 18/24 for 202 yards and 2 touchdowns in limited action while backing up Gabriel this season.

Though Gabriel has entered the transfer portal, his status for the bowl game is still undecided.

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