Dillon Gabriel has been one of college football’s most productive quarterbacks since he started in 2019. Currently, Gabriel sits 40th all-time in passing yards but could finish top-five all-time with another 3,000-yard season in 2023, cementing his NFL Draft stock. While Gabriel has built his name and success on the mainland of the United States, his roots are firmly planted in the state of Hawaii.
Dillon Gabriel’s Hawaiian Roots
Gabriel was born on the Hawaiian island of Oahu in the town of Mililani, where he attended Mililani High School. Gabriel followed a recent trend of successful quarterbacks from Hawaii, following in the footsteps of players like Marcus Mariota, Tua Tagovailoa, and McKenzie Milton.
Gabriel gained traction as a three-star quarterback recruit in the class of 2019. Gabriel finished high school as a three-time first-team All-Oahu Interscholastic Association selection and was named the Gatorade Hawai’in Player of the Year as a senior in 2018. Gabriel set the state record with 9,948 career passing yards, and his 105 passing touchdowns were second most in Hawai’i history.
Gabriel committed to the University of Central Florida out of high school before he transferred to Oklahoma at the end of the 2021 season.
Gabriel celebrates his Hawaiian roots at every opportunity he can. Before every game, he walks into the stadium with a lei, a garland of flowers hung around his neck brought over from Hawaii. According to his mother, Dori, it’s a custom and an important symbol for Gabriel and a celebration of his Hawaiian roots.
Gabriel visits his home state often. Gabriel recently returned to the island of Oahu to donate new jerseys for the boys and girls teams of his high school in an effort to “set a new standard” for athletics in Hawaii. When the season is over, Gabriel plans to return to Hawaii to help out the people of Maui, who have recently been devastated by massive wildfires.
“It’s just something (that’s) a part of it, I love Hawaii, and I know the tight-knit family and just the people there and what they’re about. So I would love to do something. I’m definitely gonna do something in the future, for sure.”
Dillon Gabriel hopes to follow Marcus Mariota and Tua Tagovailoa into the NFL. Gabriel projects right now as a late-round prospect for the upcoming 2024 NFL Draft. All the while, though, Gabriel aims to continue to celebrate where he comes from, no matter where he ends up in the future.
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