LSU’s Jayden Daniels wins 2023 Heinsman Trophy, making him the best college football player

Dollita Okine December 13, 2023
LSU senior quarterback Jayden Daniels took home the Heisman Trophy as college football's most outstanding player, closing off a phenomenal season in which he led the nation's greatest offense. Photo Credit: Instagram, Jayden Daniels

LSU senior quarterback Jayden Daniels took home the Heisman Trophy as college football’s most outstanding player, closing off a phenomenal season in which he led the nation’s greatest offense.

Daniels is the third Heisman winner at LSU, joining quarterback Joe Burrow in 2019 and halfback Billy Cannon in 1959. His victory makes him the 20th quarterback to win the award this century.

With 2,029 total points and 503 first-place votes, Daniels became the first quarterback to win the Heisman Trophy since 2016 and the sixth quarterback in the last seven seasons to do it after transferring schools.

In addition, the standout quarterback won four of the six voting zones and was listed on 90.46% of the ballots cast.

His most recent accomplishment joins the list of honors he has received this season. He was named the Walter Camp Player of the Year and the Associated Press college football player of the year, according to USA Today. He also received the Davey O’Brien Award, which is presented to the nation’s best quarterback.

Daniels, who is almost 23 years old, has already tied Bo Nix for the lead in touchdown passes (40), and he leads the country in overall offense, passing efficiency, points responsible for, and rushing yards per carry. 

Daniels said in his acceptance speech, “So what did I learn from all this? I learned how to block out the noise, that you can overcome any obstacle, and just be humble, be legendary and most importantly, you know be joyful about what you do. And when you get knocked down, get back up, keep smiling and never give up on your dreams.”

Daniels graduated from Cajon High School in San Bernardino, California, as a distinguished four-star prospect after tossing 170 touchdowns and 41 rushing scores. In 2019, he began his college career at Arizona State. The star athlete arrived in Tempe after enrolling early at Herman Edwards’ school. 

Standing at 6-foot-4 and weighing only 175 pounds, his stature aroused concerns about his physical ability to play college football. However, he defied the odds by becoming Arizona State’s first freshman quarterback to start a season opener.

In a bid to encourage others, Daniels said, “Being a college athlete and winning this award has been a dream come true. I want to dedicate this award to every boy and girl who has a dream or faith, with hard work you never know what’s possible. They said I was too skinny, so I had to wait. Then they said I relied on my legs a little bit too much, so I went to work, completed all those passes, had the season I had. They said I was too quiet, so I became more vocal. I stepped out of my comfort zone and now I’m here today.”

The San Bernadino native, who is in his second year at LSU, led the Tigers to a 10-4 record after transferring from Arizona State in 2022, according to the NFL. He threw for 2,913 yards and 29 touchdowns in total.

“This is a dream come true,” Daniels said. “I want to first give thanks to God for all the glory. He’s my rock. He’s my savior. He blessed me with the talents and ability to get here. All the special people here to develop these skills. To Bo, Mike and Marvin, you guys are amazing. I enjoy watching y’all, but the competition is never over. I look forward to seeing you guys on Sundays.”

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: December 13, 2023


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