Jayden Daniels becomes third LSU player to win Heisman Trophy
Jayden Daniels has won the Heisman Trophy as college football’s most outstanding player.
The star LSU quarterback was named the 2023 Heisman recipient at a ceremony in New York City Saturday evening. Daniels becomes the third player in LSU history to win the award, joining Joe Burrow in 2019 and Billy Cannon in 1959. He’s the fourth SEC player to claim the Heisman in the last five seasons.
LSU didn’t play for an SEC title this season and it didn’t contend for the College Football Playoff, but Daniels did absolutely everything he could throughout the season to push the Tigers to 9-3.
He threw for 3,812 yards, ran for 1,134 yards, and scored 50 total touchdowns this season for the Tigers. He enters bowl season as the FBS leader in Total QBR (95.7) and EPA (132.3).
A transfer from Arizona State, Daniels came to LSU ahead of the 2022 season with plenty of doubters. He has silenced all of them. Daniels has been named the AP Player of the Year and the SEC Offensive Player of the Year. He won the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award and the Davey O’Brien Award.
This season, he became the only player in FBS history to pass for 12,000 yards and run for 3,000 yards in a career. Against Florida on Nov. 11, Daniels became the first quarterback in FBS history to throw for at least 350 yards and run for at least 200 yards in a single game.
Daniels had 606 yards of total offense and five total touchdowns to lead LSU to a 52-35 victory that day. He flashed the Heisman pose during the game and everyone thought the same thing — no one can take this award from Daniels now.
A week later, he put eight touchdowns on the board.
Daniels beat out Washington’s Michael Penix Jr., Oregon’s Bo Nix, and Ohio State’s Marvin Harrison Jr. for the honor. Penix led his team to a 13-0 record and a spot in the College Football Playoff, but his numbers just didn’t match up with Daniels’.
Nix entered the Pac-12 title game as the betting favorite, but when his Ducks fell to Washington for a second time this season, the attention shifted squarely onto Daniels.
“You look at his body of work throughout the season, and there was no single player in the country better than Jayden Daniels, his numbers speak to that,” LSU coach Brian Kelly said after the regular season. “When you put him up against Joe Burrow, we thought that those numbers might stay forever, I think that puts it in pretty good perspective in terms of the kind of year that he had.”
Burrow’s Heisman campaign saw him put up 5,004 yards of offense and 51 total touchdowns. Daniels produced just 58 fewer yards and one fewer touchdown.
“He’s been the best player and it hasn’t even been close,” Kelly said during the season. “He has taken over games in a manner that I have not seen in my 30-plus years.”
And now his season is immortalized forever.