Who Is Brett Gabbert? The Brother of Blaine Gabbert Is Setting the MAC Alight for Miami (OH)

    Miami (OH) quarterback Brett Gabbert is setting the MAC alight as he continues to emerge from the sporting shadows of brother Blaine Gabbert.

    Type “Brett Gabbert” into your internet search engine of choice and one thing becomes immediately apparent. Yes, the Miami (OH) RedHawks quarterback is the brother of first-round NFL Draft pick Blaine Gabbert.

    Yet, he’s more than just “the brother” of the former Missouri standout. The younger Gabbert is a star in his own right, and he’s setting the MAC alight this 2023 season.

    Who Is Brett Gabbert?

    When you’re the youngest of three sporting brothers, it can be difficult to step out of their shadows. It’s especially testing when the shadow cast is as substantial as that thrown by the eldest of the Gabbert brothers — a three-year standout at Missouri who declared early and was subsequently a first-round pick. Even the middle brother, Tyler, made his way to Missouri en route to UCF.

    Yet, Brett has been able to emerge from the Gabbert shadow, and in 2023, he’s setting the pace in the MAC. The RedHawks have ascended to the top of the East and are on pace to be a legitimate title contender for the first time since 2019. Ahead of their Week 8 clash with the Toledo Rockets, a potential championship game preview, Miami is outstripping expectations.

    Fully healthy for the first time in three seasons, Gabbert is leading the charge for the RedHawks in the 2023 college football season.

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    The fifth-year quarterback leads the MAC in yards per game (207.9), passing touchdowns (14), yards per attempt (9.2), and total passing yards (1,455). Something of an afterthought behind Kurtis Rourke and Dequan Finn entering the season, the Miami (OH) QB is playing at an elite level for the RedHawks.

    “Gabbert has been lights out this season,” states College Football Network’s Cam Mellor in his regular MAC QB Rankings.

    “He’s seeing the field incredibly well and has done more than enough with his legs to not only buy time in the pocket but also keep the ball on some impressive scramble drills this year. With the way Gabbert is playing, there’s no wonder why the RedHawks are in a race to topple Ohio for the MAC East crown.”

    Gabbert’s Emergence From Brotherly Shadows

    Gabbert’s emergence from the brotherly shadows and into the national spotlight is hardly surprising. If anything, the time that he spent within them is the confusing conundrum of the story of the charismatic quarterback. It’s not like he’s suddenly taken a leap in talent or performance since arriving in Oxford. To quote the kids; Gabbert has always been HIM.

    A team captain at Christian Brothers College High School, Gabbert led the team to two consecutive state championships in his junior and senior seasons. During the 2017 campaign, he threw for 2,862 yards and 36 touchdowns.

    Performing at an even higher level in his final season at the high school level, Gabbert threw for 3,047 passing yards and 42 touchdowns, completing 69.7% of his 274 pass attempts on his way to being named the 2018 6A Missouri Offensive Player of the Year. He finished his high school career with a 36-4 record.

    Despite his success, Gabbert’s path to college football was very different than that of his older brothers. Where they entertained Power Five offers, Brett attended junior days at MAC programs like Ball State, and received offers from Central Michigan, Northern Illinois, and Eastern Michigan ahead of his senior season, committing to Miami (OH) over them in April 2018.

    While he lacked the Power Five offers, Gabbert soon asserted himself at the college football level. Named the starter for the 2019 season opener against Iowa, he became the first true freshman quarterback to open the season as the starter in RedHawks history. It would be the start of a career that would establish the young quarterback in Miami (OH) folklore.

    Winning MAC Freshman of the Year accolades, Gabbert threw for 2,411 yards and 11 touchdowns as he guided the RedHawks to a first MAC title in almost 10 years. Flashing his sheer arm talent, he threw for 225 yards and three scores against Bowling Green on just 15 pass attempts, while displaying a deceptive dual-threat when rushing for three scores in his debut campaign.

    Over the next three seasons, Gabbert rode a rollercoaster of college football ups and downs. Between a combination of injury and the global pandemic, he played in just six games in the 2020 and 2022 seasons combined. That sandwiched a sensational season where he set the school record for most passing yards in a two-game span as part of a career-high performance.

    MORE: 2023 All-MAC College Football Midseason Team and Individual Honors 

    That rollercoaster had appeared to take its toll on Gabbert by the end of the 2022 season when the Miami (OH) quarterback announced his intention to enter the college football transfer portal.

    “To my teammates, it’s been an honor to step into the arena with you. Our bonds will last a lifetime,” Gabbert began in an announcement that contained a nod to his under-recruitment coming out of high school.

    “To my coaches, thank you for believing in me when not many did. Thank you for trusting me to lead the team as a true freshman. And most importantly, thank you for coaching me into the player and person I am today.”

    His dalliance with the portal was brief, his resolve steely upon his return to the RedHawks for spring practice. Gabbert has been at his very best, leading the charge for a Miami (OH) team that is enjoying a six-game winning streak ahead of their crucial Week 8 clash with Toledo. It’s the first time the program has enjoyed such a streak since 2003, when their QB was three years old.

    The quarterback for that campaign was Ben Roethlisberger, arguably the most famous player in Miami (OH) program history. With his exploits so far this season, Gabbert is inserting his name alongside “Big Ben” and Zac Dysert in the RedHawks record book.

    Throwing for 223 yards in the Week 7 win over Western Michigan, Gabbert moved past 8,000 passing yards, becoming just the third quarterback in program history to hit the marker. He’ll join an even more exclusive club with 35 more career rushing yards, joining Dysert as the only other player in Miami (OH) history with 7,500 passing yards and 500 rushing yards.

    It’s an impressive résumé for a man who is referred to simply as “Blaine Gabbert’s brother” by internet search engines. Not only has he emerged from his brother’s shadow, but he’s established himself as one of the great playmakers in Miami history. Gabbert is setting the MAC alight in what could be his final season in college.

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