The transfer portal is one of the biggest parts of the college football offseason, and the first week of it being open has been exciting. Each school has a chance to bring in new talent and completely revamp their roster, and the portal goes both ways. One bad season can spell disaster for a school as a mass exodus can occur, leaving a roster bare. One team that has already lost a key player to the transfer portal is Oklahoma football. The Sooners star quarterback Dillon Gabriel entered his name in the portal, and he already has a new home as he is committed to Oregon. Now, Oklahoma needs to find a new quarterback.

First off, it's going to be very difficult for Oklahoma football to replace Dillon Gabriel. The Sooners were 6-6 last season in head coach Brent Venables' first season, and Gabriel was a big part of this year's turnaround to get to 10-2. Also, if the Sooners had just taken care of business against teams that they were favored against after they beat Texas, they would be playing in the College Football Playoff this season. It could've been a special year, and Gabriel gave it his all to try to make that happen.

Gabriel had a huge season for Oklahoma as he finished 266/384 for 3,660 yards, 30 touchdowns and six interceptions. He completed 69.3% of his passes. Gabriel was one of the best QBs in the country, and he led the Sooners to an overall successful season.

Before we get into more about the transfer portal, let's take a look at what Oklahoma football has been through recently and where they stand as they head into a crucial 2024 season that will see them in a conference, the SEC.

Brent Venables took over the Sooners after Lincoln Riley left for the USC job, and year one didn't go so well for Venables. Oklahoma ended up finishing that season with a 6-6 regular season record, and their game against rival Texas was one of the worst in the school history. The Longhorns didn't have that good of a season that year either, but they took down the Sooners 49-0. It was an awful game, and it was an all-around disappointing season for Oklahoma. However, it was only the first season for Venables. New coaches need a little bit of time to settle in at a new school, and that was the case here. Venables and the Sooners had a much better season in 2023.

The bounce back this past year for Oklahoma football was impressive. The Sooners started the season ranked #20 in the country, and they looked good to start the year as they easily cruised to a 5-0 record ahead of their huge game with Texas. Oklahoma had climbed all the way up to #12 in the polls, but they were underdogs in that game. It didn't matter, though, as the Sooners made a statement in the Red River showdown with a 34-30 win over the third ranked Longhorns. After that win, the College Football Playoff looked like a real possibility for the Sooners.

After the Texas game, the rest of the schedule was looking great for the Sooners. They played just one ranked team, and it was #22 Oklahoma State, their other rival. Oklahoma jumped up to #6 in the rankings, and they looked like they were going to have a good chance to run the table, and most people assumed that they would at least make it to the Big 12 title game for a likely rematch with Texas. Unfortunately, the upsets began.

Oklahoma ended up losing two tough ones in the back half of the season as they fell on the road to Kansas and Oklahoma State. The Sooners had a lot of potential, but they ended up finishing 10-2 and missing the Big 12 title game. They made it to the Alamo Bowl in the postseason, but they lost by two touchdowns to Arizona in that one. The season got off to a good start, but the ending was disappointing.

Now, Oklahoma football has to get ready for year one in the SEC by replacing some key talent that they are losing by utilizing the transfer portal. That's how it is in college football now. If you have a season where you lose a lot of guys, you have to get a good transfer portal class, or the next season might not be a fun one. That could certainly be the case with the Sooners going to the SEC. They did get QB Casey Thompson from the portal in the first wave, along with some other good talent. Here is the transfer player with the most to prove next season for the Sooners.

QB Casey Thompson, FAU

Casey Thompson is the transfer with the most to prove because if he wants to have a chance at being the QB next season for Oklahoma, he has to prove that he is capable of playing at this level. One thing that Thompson does have is experience. He has played five seasons of college football for Texas, Nebraska and FAU, and he has had a couple solid years in his career. He didn't play a ton this past season as he attempted just 79 passes. He finished the season 50/79 for 509 yards, five touchdowns and five interceptions. The year prior, however, was better. He finished the season 173-274 for 2,407 yards, 17 touchdowns and 1o interceptions.

Thompson has a lot to prove to this coaching staff and this team if he wants a shot at the QB position. It's going to be an interesting race to watch next season. The Sooners don't have anyone on the roster with experience like Thompson, or really experience at all. Losing Gabriel was tough, but it is what it is, and Oklahoma now has to find the solution. No matter what, it's going to be difficult for whoever wins the job and it will take some time to adjust. If it Thompson, he will be going from the FAU schedule last year to the SEC schedule in 2024. He has played in the Big Ten and Big 12, but that is still going to a very difficult adjustment to make if he does end up winning the job.