Oregon Football QB Dillon Gabriel Named a Top Heisman Trophy Favorite

New Oregon Ducks QB Dillon Gabriel has high expectations heading into 2024.
Oregon quarterback Dillon Gabriel throws out a pass during spring camp for the Oregon Ducks Thursday, March 14, 2024.
Oregon quarterback Dillon Gabriel throws out a pass during spring camp for the Oregon Ducks Thursday, March 14, 2024. / Ben Lonergan/The Register-Guard / USA

The Oregon Ducks were fortunate enough to have one of the best quarterbacks in the nation last season in Bo Nix, who ended the season as a Heisman Trophy candidate, and led the team to the verge of a Pac-12 title.

While there was a period of time when replacing Nix seemed like a major concern, that is no longer the case.

This spring, the Ducks landed Oklahoma transfer QB Dillon Gabriel, instantly filling the void left by Nix's departure. Will Gabriel be a true Nix replacement? Odds are likely not. That said, he is exactly what the Ducks needed.

Oklahoma's Dillon Gabriel reacts after scoring a touchdown in the second half against the West Virginia Mountaineers.
Oklahoma's Dillon Gabriel (8) reacts after scoring a touchdown in the second half of a college football game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners and the West Virginia Mountaineers at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium in Norman, Okla., Saturday, Nov., 11, 2023. / SARAH PHIPPS/THE OKLAHOMAN / USA TODAY

And heading into next season, he is expected to give the Ducks yet another top contender for the Heisman, ranking third in On3's list of top national candidates for the award.

"Gabriel was briefly a Heisman Trophy contender last season before Oklahoma fell to rival Oklahoma State in the final Bedlam for the foreseeable future," On3 wrote. "The ex-Sooners’ southpaw led the Big 12 in passing, touchdowns, and completion percentage in 2023, and he could repeat those numbers in the Big Ten operating Will Stein’s offense."

"The sixth-year senior should flourish as a top candidate playing on a stacked offense on a Top 5 team with championship expectations."

On3 also named Gabriel a top candidate in the Big Ten for the Award.

Last season with Oklahoma, Gabriel was electric, completing 266 of 384 passes for 3,660 yards and 30 touchdowns, while rushing for another 373 yards and 12 scores. Compare that to Nix, who threw for 4,508 yards and 45 scores, and rushed for 236 yards and four more touchdowns, and it is easy to see why the Ducks are confident heading into next season.

And if Gabriel can produce at similar level to what he did in 2023, he should be squarley in contention for the highest honor individual honor in college football.


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Matt Galatzan

MATT GALATZAN