“After much prayer and reflection, I have decided my journey at UCF has come to an end,” Dillon Gabriel said via social media.
Gabriel’s last mean play in a Knights uniform will end up being the game-losing pick six that gave the Louisville Cardinals the 42-35 win in week three.
Gabriel sustained a fractured clavicle a few plays later that’s kept him out of action since. It’s a sad ending for what was an otherwise brilliant career for Gabriel at UCF.
Now, the beloved quarterback will look to make his comeback and finish his collegiate career at another school. When looking at potential destinations for Gabriel, one obvious option is Ole Miss.
It would give Gabriel a chance to reconnect with Jeff Lebby, now the Ole Miss Offensive Coordinator. He was the Knights’ quarterback coach in 2018 and was promoted in 2019 to lead the offense in addition to his Quarterback Coach duties.
Coach Lebby’s only year as Offensive Coordinator in 2019 was Gabriel’s freshman year and first year as the Knights’ starter.
He would have been the one (alongside then UCF head coach Josh Heupel) who recruited Gabriel to UCF and the one who Gabriel leaned on and learned from his freshman year.
Coach Lebby was instrumental to Gabriel’s success in 2019 when he threw for over 3600 yards, 29 touchdowns and seven interceptions and led the Knights to a 10-3 record.
It’s tough to see any other college football team as appealing an option as Ole Miss. The combination of Coach Lebby and Head Coach Lane Kiffin, another offensive genius, has lifted quarterback Matt Corral into the Heisman conversation this year for the Rebels. Although Corral is unlikely to win the award, he’s separated himself as one of the best quarterbacks in college football, and is set to get paid in next year’s NFL Draft.
With Corral gone, the Ole Miss job will be wide open next year, a potentially perfect scenario for Gabriel to slide into.
Regardless of where Gabriel chooses, he will certainly be missed by Knight Nation. He will go down as one of the best quarterbacks in UCF history, and should be wished well in all future endeavors.
Now the question becomes, what does UCF do? Will the Knights hit the transfer portal this season? Look for a detailed article about that very topic on Sunday from Inside The Knights.