LSU QB Jaden Daniels is the number one favorite to win the Heisman Trophy

For the second year in a row and the fifth time in the last seven years, a transfer quarterback has won the Heisman Trophy.

LSU’s Jayden Daniels, who began his college career at Arizona State before transferring to Baton Rouge in 2022, won the game’s Most Valuable Individual Award on Saturday night after 4,946 yards (3,812 passing yards, 1,134 touchdowns and 50 total yards) season.

Daniels received 503 first-place votes and 2,029 total points to beat two fellow transfer quarterbacks, Washington’s Michael Benix Jr. (292 first-place, 1,701 total) and Oregon’s Bo Nix (51st place, 885 total). Ohio State wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. (20th overall, 352 overall) at the ceremony at Lincoln Center in New York City. Florida State’s Jordan Travis finished fifth with eight first-place votes for 85 points.

Daniels’ 328-point margin over Bennicks in Heisman voting since 2018, when Oklahoma’s Kyler Murray won with 2,167 points to Alabama quarterback Dua Tagovailoa’s 1,871.

Daniels said winning the Heisman would be “a dream come true.”

“I want to thank all of my teammates from Arizona State to LSU,” Daniels said. “You are my brothers. You work so hard every day and inspire me to be my best.”

See also  Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is hospitalized after collapsing

Daniels, 22, of San Bernardino, California, is the first player since 2016 to win the Heisman as part of a team that did not play for a conference title. The No. 13 Tigers will play Wisconsin in the ReliaQuest Bowl on Jan. 1, although Daniels has not yet decided whether to play.

“I wish I could have brought you another championship,” Daniels said, thanking the LSU fans.

Daniels led all FBS players in QBR (95.7), yards per attempt (11.7, an FBS record) and passing touchdowns (40), as well as completions of 20 yards or more (70). His 72.2 completion percentage was seventh in the nation, while his total offensive yards per game (412.2) was first, 74 yards better than the next best player.

As a runner, Daniels was topped by only 25 running backs in yards per game, and his 8.4 rushing yards per attempt was good enough for fourth among running backs in the FBS. Each season since he entered college, Daniels has improved his output as a runner, tripling his 2019 rushing yards total in 2023.

A four-star recruit out of Cajon High School in San Bernardino, Daniels first committed to ASU in 2018 before winning the Sun Devils’ starting quarterback job heading into the 2019 season. He was the first true freshman in program history to be a starting quarterback.

Daniels’ time in Tempe had some highs — a freshman campaign that featured 2,943 yards and 17 touchdowns — and some lows, including a 10-interception season in 2021. Before that season, the NCAA announced that Arizona State was under investigation. Several potential recruiting violations.

See also  The White House press secretary estimates that the Biden student loan program will cost $24B a year

Following the 2021 season at ASU, Daniels announced he would transfer to LSU, which hired Brian Kelly as head coach. In his first season as a Tiger, Daniels led LSU to nine wins and the SEC Championship Game, throwing for 2,774 yards and rushing for 818.

But despite Daniels making significant strides in his fifth year at the helm, LSU was unable to improve in its 2022 season, again winning nine regular-season games. This year, it wasn’t enough to make it to the conference championship.

Yet when it came to the Heisman, Daniels’ stats were more impressive. Daniels is just the second FBS player with 40 passing touchdowns, 10 rushing scores and 1,000 rushing yards in a season — the other being Murray in 2018. Although the Heisman was tied for just this season, Daniels’ honor is also a career achievement award. He became the first player in FBS history to reach 12,000 career passing and 3,000 career rushing yards.

Daniels is the third LSU player to win the Heisman (Billy Cannon in 1959 and Joe Burrow in 2019) as well as the third straight quarterback to win the award and the seventh in the last eight years.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *