CFB Player Profile: Dillon Gabriel, UCF

QB Dillon Gabriel, UCF

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HOMETOWN (HIGH SCHOOL): Mililani, HI (Mililani)
247 RATING: .8667
YEAR: Sophomore

Passing: 3,653 yards (59.1%), 29 touchdowns, 7 interceptions
Rushing: 78 yards (1.1 ypc), 4 touchdowns
Passing: 3,653 yards (59.1%), 29 touchdowns, 7 interceptions
Rushing: 78 yards (1.1 ypc), 4 touchdowns


Dillon Gabriel Breakdown

– Patient passer
– Pocket presence
– Underrated runner
– Quick feet
– Drops ball
– Slower windup
– Overthrows
– Deep passes
– Inexperience

Losing a talent like McKenzie Milton would set back many programs in college football, but the Knights regrouped quickly, and turned their attention to a true freshman. After winning 25 regular season games in a row, the pressure was on yet another Hawaiian quarterback. He handled it well, and showed why the future’s bright in Orlando.

Dillon Gabriel won the starting job early by playing like he’d been on campus for three years already. His patience in the pocket gave him more time to go through his progressions, and find an open receiver downfield. He also showed that he had a solid internal clock, eluding pressure whenever the pocket collapsed. Most of the time, he kept his eyes downfield to give his receivers even more time, but he’s an underrated runner who can pick up first downs when needed.

Another aspect of Gabriel’s game that sticks out is his feet. When he’s setting up for a pass, he gets his feet in position quickly, and resets them just as quick when that route isn’t an option. You can tell he focuses on the fundamentals of his game frequently just by watching his footwork. While he has the base figured out, he can focus his attention to the upper part of his passes.

We saw the arm strength and the ability to take a top off the defense every once in a while, but his throwing motion led to inconsistent results. A slower windup and dropping the ball led to many overthrows this year, and some of them could have resulted in easy touchdowns. He has the arm strength to drop the ball perfectly into his receivers arms, but not every time. There were times in big games where he missed deep throws that could have put points on the board, but he has a full season of experience to review. He’ll compete with Milton if the former starter returns, but gives UCF a ton of potential at the quarterback position for the next few years.

Joe Broback
Joe Broback

Joe Broback is a college football contributor for Sports and Fitness Digest.

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