Many project Jayden Daniels as one of the best quarterbacks in 2023 college football. So, why are we know talking about him as a Heisman Trophy contender?
LSU football’s Jayden Daniels is the 2023 Heisman Trophy candidate that college fans and pundits need to start talking about. No, we’re not crazy; the numbers back us up.
Jayden Daniels has proven he is the best dual-threat quarterback in all of college football, and it’s not a particularly close race. In 2022, the LSU starting quarterback finished with 2,913 passing yards including a mind-boggling 17-2 touchdown-to-interception ratio. On top of that, he added 885 yards and 11 touchdowns on the ground.
For what it’s worth, some sportsbooks have recognized Daniels as a top Heisman contender.
Jayden Daniels is tied with Quinn Ewers for the second-best odds to win the Heisman, according to FanDuel at +1100. Some other notable names on the list include Michael Penix Jr., Cade Klubnik, and Bo Nix. Outside of Nix, Daniels is the most experienced QB on this list. He’s entering his fifth year of eligibility and second year with Brian Kelly at LSU.
LSU football fans, why are we not talking about Jayden Daniels as a Heisman Trophy contender?
But, of course, Jayden Daniels will have to separate himself in the run game, like he did in 2022, to unseat USC’s Caleb Williams. Williams won the 2022 Heisman Trophy and is the heavy favorite to win again in 2023. Indeed, Williams a special player, but it is extremely rare for a player to win the award twice.
Williams’ 2022 season was something out of a fairy tale. He threw for 4,537 yards with a 42-5 touchdown-to-interception ratio to accompany ten rushing touchdowns. Such metrics are not a knock on Williams, but such a great of a season is hard to replicate. Potential injuries are also an unfortunate consideration.
Regardless, if Williams takes a slight step back, the door will open for someone else to win the Heisman. Again, why not LSU football’s Jayden Daniels?
Daniels had an incredible 2022 season, but fans could see there was still another step for him to take in his game. One of the knocks on Daniels was his inability to take the top off a defense and stretch the field. We expect such to improve in 2023.
The LSU starting quarterback stands to benefit from another offseason in the Tigers’ system and welcomed transfers Aaron Anderson and Logan Diggs. The biggest thing Daniels has going for him is playing in the SEC. He is going to war against some of the toughest teams in the nation, week in and week out.
It will be hard to deny Daniels the Heisman Trophy if he leads LSU football to another SEC Championship Game, College Football Playoff berth, and eclipses the 3,000 passing-yard mark with the same rushing output as 2022.
Only Ohio State’s Archie Griffin owns a pair of Heisman awards circa 1,695 rushing yards in 1974 and another 1,450 rushing yards in 1975.