And Bedford's 145-pound senior says he's never been, instead staying focused on his own goals.
About midway through his final season in a Bison singlet, Gabriel seems to be hitting the right stride at the right time.
Gabriel put together one of his best varsity efforts to date with a dominant 16-2 major decision on Friday night over Northern Bedford's Ian Sherlock, who had been wrestling as well as anybody locally over the past few weeks.
Gabriel had four takedowns, a reversal, and two nearfalls in the victory. In my match story for the Bedford Gazette, he told me he was looking forward to a potential meeting with Sherlock, who bumped up a weight.
That win, and the manner in which it came, is certain to bolster Gabriel's mindset with events like the Thomas Tournament and the postseason on the horizon.
"My season's going pretty well," he said. "It's just minor things I need to work on. I'm feeling a lot better and slicker on the mat."
His 11-5 record going into tomorrow's tri-meet with Cambria Heights and Somerset might not blow anybody away, but if you look further, Gabriel's faced some very strong competition in the first month and a half.
That list includes Caleb Dowling (St. Joseph's Academy), Erik Gibson (Forest Hills), Ethan Kelly (Westmont Hilltop) and Shane Kemper (Burgettstown). Dowling was last year's state runner-up at 138, Kemper is a returning state qualifier, Kelly was a previous state qualifier, and Gibson is among the top freshmen in the state.
And inside his own family, Gabriel couldn't have asked for a better wrestler to work with than his older sibling Jonathan.
Jonathan Gabriel's story is of course well chronicled, as he won a state championship in 2015 and is one of only three wrestlers in history to win four Thomas Tournament titles before moving on to compete at the U.S. Naval Academy. Over the years, he's also served as a mentor.
"About every single thing I do on the bottom now is from him," Nathan said. "It was always tough because he wrestled different styles than me. He would always have to change stuff and show me different things, but a lot of my wrestling has come from him.
"I've never felt any pressure. I know I'm my own person, and he's always been really supportive. It's never been like I had to prove anything to anyone."
Gabriel, who has also picked up a strong practice partner this winter in former state medalist Kaden Cassidy, is someone that Bedford coach Joel Easter can lean to, on and off the mat.
"He started out the season with a couple of state caliber kids, and we just told him to keep at it and his time will come," said Easter. "He never gets down on himself — he always has a good positive attitude in the room. He's our leader. When I need something, I go to Nathan. I'm proud of how he's come through the adversity in those tough matches."