The first full weekend of the 2021 college football schedule will kickoff on Thursday as Mililani’s Dillon Gabriel will get his junior season underway as the UCF quarterback will lead his Knights into a battle with fellow Group of 5 power Boise State.
Gabriel, who enters the season as the nation’s leading returning passer went 248 of 413 (60.0%), for 3,570 yards and 32 touchdowns with four interceptions in 2020. Despite those statistics, Gabriel has maintained an underdog mentality.
“It’s forever been instilled in me. Something that will continue to be. I’ll forever have a chip on my shoulder and feel like I have something to prove and I think that’s why I’ve gotten to where I am right now. There’s so much growth to be made. I think that’s also an exciting part for me personally but also I want to win a championship. That’s forever the goal and I’ll continue to be motivated until I do so and once I do I already know I’ll be thinking about the next one,” Gabriel told KHON2 Sports Director Rob DeMello.
The left handed QB has already garnered his fair share of attention on the offseason having been selected to watch lists for the Maxwell, Davey O’Brien, and Walter Camp awards. He was also named the fourth-best quarterback in the country by Pro Football Focus, behind Oklahoma’s Spencer Rattler, North Carolina’s Sam Howell, and Miami’s D’Eriq King.
“What has always kept me focused is that I’m never satisfied. That’s how I look at it. I’m excited. Personally this is a big year and I can’t wait to see what happens,” added Gabriel.
The wait is almost over. Gabriel and his Knights who feature a total of five players from Hawaii will hit the field against Boise State on Thursday at 1pm HST on ESPN. The Broncos feature four former Hawaii high school standouts.
BOISE STATE vs. UCF – HAWAII HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATES:
14 Kaonohi Kaniho (CB // R-Fr) Kahuku (Kahuku)
26 Kekaula Kaniho (NB // Gr-Sr) Kahuku (Kahuku)
50 Riden Leong (OL // R-Jr) Waimanalo (Pac Five)
51 Dalton Lins (OL// JR) Lahaina, Maui (Lahainaluna)
11 Dillon Gabriel (QB // JR) Mililani (Mililani)
0 Titus Mokiao-Atimalala (WR // FR) Ewa Beach (Campbell)
77 Lokahi Pauiole (OG // JR) Kapolei (Kamehameha)
90 Hirkley Latu (LB // R-So) Kahuku (Kahuku)
93 Ryan Kaneshiro (TE / R-Sr) Honolulu (Pac Five)