After Jayden Daniels’ freshman season at Arizona State, I just felt like there was something special about him. He had that it factor that elite quarterbacks have and I always felt like if he played at a different program, he’d be a legit Heisman threat. So when he joined LSU football last offseason, I had high hopes.
Expectations may have been a little too high for a quarterback in a brand new system under a coach that also just joined the program but he played well.
Daniels got off to a slow start to his LSU career as the Tigers fell to Florida State in the season opener and fans were already over Brian Kelly and the new quarterback.
Those frustrations were put at ease as LSU reeled off four straight wins and won nine of the next 10 games. The Tigers were very much in the playoff hunt.
However, they lost the season finale against Texas A&M and then the SEC title game to Georgia, dropping to 9-4 on the year. But yet, Daniels looked really solid.
Now that he’ll be back in 2023 and the presumed QB1 in Baton Rouge, we should be talking about him as a legit Heisman threat.
Daniels could be LSU football’s next transfer Heisman winner
Remember the last time LSU had a transfer quarterback come in and start in his first season, playing well enough to keep his job the following season? That was none other than Joe Burrow. And the numbers in his first year with LSU weren’t all that dissimilar to Daniels’ 2022 stats.
- Burrow (2018): 2,894 passing yards, 16 touchdowns, 5 interceptions, 58% completions
- Daniels (2022): 2,913 passing yards, 17 touchdowns, 3 interceptions, 69% completions
As you can see, Daniels’ numbers were even better than Burrow’s in his first year after the transfer. Plus, Daniels is a better rusher, picking up 885 yards and 11 touchdowns on the ground last season while Burrow had 399 and seven scores in year one with LSU.
Obviously not all quarterbacks are Joe Burrow. There’s a reason he’s one of the best in the NFL. But Daniels is as talented as any quarterback in the country, he just needs to show it consistently.
With the reins of the LSU offense again in 2023, Daniels could have a Burrow-like jump and be a true Heisman Trophy contender and even frontrunner.
I honestly believe Daniels is talented enough to win the award and for some reason no one is talking about him. That’ll be a mistake come September.