The Oklahoma Sooners have been quite fortunate to roll out some of the more potent quarterbacks in college football in this century. From Jason White to even as recently as last season with the dual-threat Caleb Williams, the Sooners continue to be a quarterback factory in the Big 12.

Now, Dillon Gabriel sure will look to be the next Oklahoma quarterback to leave behind a grand legacy at the program. Gabriel transferred from UCF to the Sooners for the 2022 campaign, and he will start for the Big 12 powerhouse in its upcoming and much-anticipated first season under head coach Brent Venables.

Venables has been keeping a close watch on Gabriel in practices. With what he has seen so far from the former UCF standout, he sees a bit of former Heisman Trophy winner Sam Bradford in Gabriel for quite a unique reason.

“I mean, he’s a natural leader,” Venables said on Thursday. “Again, I’ve said this before: Guys follow him. It’s very easy. … And again, he elevates everybody’s level of play. But he’s a calmer demeanor type of guy, more like a Sam Bradford, I guess if you will, than a Baker Mayfield. Just quiet and kind of an assassin in his own way, really confident, got great presence on the field.

“But as much as anything else, he’s very humble. He’s thankful for his opportunity. He knows it’s a big deal to be a quarterback at Oklahoma, and he wants to represent the brand the right way. And he does every day.”

All quarterbacks have their own routes that they take to be a leader for an offense. Some are a bit more reserved and prefer to let their play do the talking. Other passers are not afraid of being vocal when in the huddle or even off the field. In Gabriel’s case, Venables views a talent who is cool, calm, and collected when anchoring the Sooners offense.

The Dillon Gabriel era at Oklahoma will commence with three straight non-conference matchups before the Sooners meet Kansas State for a crucial home contest next month. Overall, the expectations are sky-high for Gabriel to lead the Sooners back to the top of the mountain in the Big 12.