The news wasn’t exactly what Dillon Gabriel hoped for, but it wasn’t bad either.
Locked in a three-way battle for the starting quarterback job as a true freshman at UCF, Gabriel, who signed with the Knights just nine months ago, will at least see the field in the Knights’ season opener next Thursday against Florida A&M.
UCF coach Josh Heupel announced today that Brandon Wimbush, a transfer from Notre Dame, will get the start against the Rattlers but that Gabriel would play. Redshirt freshman Quadry Jones was also part of the QB competition.
“Brandon Wimbush will be our starting quarterback and Dillon Gabriel will get an opportunity to play in the first game as well,” Heupel said in a statement released by the school. “We’ve been pleased that all three quarterbacks have played at a high level during fall camp.”
The push for the starting job became a three-way battle after Darriel Mack Jr. broke his ankle in July.
Mack Jr. replaced McKenzie Milton, who broke his leg in the regular-season finale against South Florida, and threw for 348 yards and accounted for six touchdowns (four rushing) in a win over Memphis in the American Athletic Conference championship game. He was held to 97 yards passing and one touchdown in a 40-32 loss to LSU in the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl.
Wimbush lost his starting job at Notre Dame last year after throwing for more than 2,600 yards with 20 touchdowns and 12 interceptions in 16 games. He also ran for more than 1,000 yards and accounted for 16 rushing TD’s.
Gabriel threw for 3,747 yards and and 38 touchdowns with 13 interceptions as a senior at Mililani and was named the Honolulu Star-Advertiser offensive player of the year in the state.
He holds Hawaii’s all-time passing mark of 9,848 yards with 105 touchdowns in 40 games.