Bo Nix departs for NFL; Can Oregon Football’s Dillon Gabriel Live up to His Standard?

Can Oregon Football’s Dillon Gabriel Live up to Expectations, Bo Nix departs for NFL?

Replacing a fan favorite and Heisman Trophy finalist isn’t an easy task. The question is whether or not Dillon Gabriel can fill a very big pair of shoes.
Oregon quarterback Dillon Gabriel looks to pass during practice with the Ducks Thursday, April 11, 2024, at the Hatfield-Dowlin Complex in Eugene, Ore.

Can the Ducks’ newest signal caller live up to both his high expectations and the caliber of his predecessor?

Quarterback Dillon Gabriel has been hailed as a Heisman Trophy contender, regarded as one of the top signal callers in the Big Ten Conference, and more since he declared his commitment to Oregon Ducks football. Nevertheless, with former Ducks standout Bo Nix heading to the NFL and the Denver Broncos, he has some very large shoes to fill. It remains to be seen if he can live up to the pre-season buzz despite the plaudits.

Oregon quarterback Bo Nix leaps into the end zone for a touchdown as the No. 9 Oregon Ducks host Washington State Saturday, O

On Saturday, October 21, 2023, at Autzen Stadium in Eugene, Oregon, the No. 9 Oregon Ducks take on Washington State. Oregon quarterback Bo Nix dives into the end zone for a score. / Ben Lonergan/The Register-Guard / USA

For Oregon supporters, the good news is that they signed one of the top quarterbacks on the transfer portal. Blake Brockmeyer, a CBS Sportswriter, believes that the Ducks have the best chance of winning in 2024 with Gabriel at the center.

“A talented Oregon team predicted to make a deep playoff run is led by Dillon Gabriel, who, in what seems like his tenth year of college, brings extensive experience and execution of a tempo-based offense,” Brockmeyer said.

Gabriel’s numbers form a portion of his prognosis. Take into account that in 49 starts, he has amassed roughly 15,000 passing yards and 125 career touchdowns. Gabriel attended Central Florida for his first year of college before relocating to Oklahoma and then Oregon. He participated in schemes similar to those directed by Will Stein, the offensive coordinator at Oregon, during his first two stops.

Gabriel will gain from not just being in a familiar system but also from the wide receiver group the Ducks have put together, which includes Evan Stewart, Tez Johnson, Gary Bryant, Jr., and Traeshon Holden.

Oregon wide receiver Traeshon Holden works out during practice with the Oregon Ducks Tuesday, April 2, 2024 in Eugene, Ore.

Tuesday, April 2, 2024, in Eugene, Oregon, wide receiver Traeshon Holden practices with the Oregon Ducks. / Ben Lonergan/The Register-Guard / USA

While Gabriel has made an impression on his Oregon coaches and teammates, he was also acknowledged for his recent work as a counselor at the Elite 11 quarterback camp. One of the largest platforms for high school students to showcase their abilities is this event.

Akili Smith, Jr., an Oregon recruit, is among the elite quarterbacks who have been practicing accuracy drills and 7-on-7 work lately. In this case, less so, the event’s attention is on these young athletes. According to Bruce Feldman of The Athletic, a seasoned quarterback stole the show. QB Dillon Gabriel of the Oregon Ducks was that veteran.

Feldman discussed Gabriel’s performance with Brian Stumpf, General Manager of Elite 11.

Complete rock star, Stumpf exclaimed. “I believe that he went above and beyond what anyone would have expected of him in terms of throwing ability. He was a leader, a guy, and incredibly charming. Every high school student was gushing about him.

There’s a good chance Gabriel will succeed if he steps into Nix’s shoes. We are aware of his football talent, which can overwhelm defenders in the Big Ten Conference. It’s also heartening to see that he can assume a leadership position with these young men who want to achieve the same level of achievement that he has.

It’s time to see if Gabriel can make the next move and become one of the many accomplished quarterbacks who have played for the Ducks.

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