Daniels, Cajon High Gridiron Wunderkind, Wins The Heisman Trophy

Jayden Daniels has won the 2023 Heisman Trophy, capping a year in which he on his own averaged 412.17 yards in total offense per game, which outdistanced by far every other player in the nation. More astounding still he averaged 10.71 yards per offensive play in which he was involved.
Daniels, who will turn 23 on Monday, played for San Bernardino’s Cajon High School, where he had such a fantastic junior year in 2018 in throwing for 62 touchdowns, he graduated early and then matriculated at Arizona State as a four-star recruit. As a freshman in the Grand Canyon State, Daniels beat out starter Dillon Sterling-Cole in training camp, becoming the first ever freshman quarterback for the Sun Devils. In the curtailed 2020 season which entailed only four games, he was the starting quarterback on a team that logged two wins and two losses. His 2021 season, in which he passed for 2,380 yards and ran for another 710, was marred by reports that Arizona State and then-coach Herman Edwards had fallen under investigation by the NCAA for recruitment violations.
He transferred to Louisiana State University for what was officially considered his junior year in 2022. That fall, he chalked up 2,913 yards in the air and another 885 on the ground.
This year, he threw the ball like Washington Huskies’ Quarterback Michael Penix Jr., the second-place finisher in the Heisman sweepstakes and otherwise the nation’s next best gridiron field general and ran like Oklahoma State Cowboys’ Ollie Gordon II, the nation’s best running back, who finished seventh in the Heisman polling.
Whereas Daniels logged as completion rate of 72.2 percent for 3,812 total yards and 40 touchdowns with four interceptions, Penix had a 65.9 percent completion rate with 4,218 total yards, 33 touchdowns and nine interceptions.
Daniels carried the ball for 1,134 yards, or 8.4 yards per touch, scoring ten touchdowns. Gordon ran for a bit more, just 146 yards less than mile at 1,614 yards, an average of 8.8 yards per carry. Gordon scored a single touchdown.
In a single game this season, against Florida, he passed and rushed for a total of 606 yards – more than a third of a mile.
In the voting, Daniels received 503 first-place votes, well ahead of Penix, with 292 first-place votes. Overall Daniels had 2,029 points in the voting, as he received fewer second-place and third-place votes than Penix, who brought in 1,701 voting points.
Oregon’s quarterback, Bo Nix finished third in the election for the nation’s top college player with 51 first-place votes and 885 total points. Ohio State receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. finished fourth, garnering 20 first-place endorsements and 352 points overall.
With his win, quarterbacks have taken the Heisman Trophy in five of the last seven years. Daniels is the third LSU Tiger to be able to set the Heisman Trophy on his shelf.  Tiger Running Back Billy Cannon in 1959. Louisiana State University Quarterback Joe Burrow won it in 2019.
Despite the Tigers having the most powerful offense in the country this year, the team was far off the pace for being national champions, as they logged a record of 9-3, have lost twice before the season was half over.
Alabama ended any vestige of hope that LSU could bring a national championship home to Baton Rouge when Crimson Tide beat them in early November, eliminating the Tigers from contention in the Southeastern Conference this year.
Daniels is the first player since Louisville’s Lamar Jackson to win the Heisman while playing for a team that lost three games and did not play for a championship.
Mark Gutglueck 

Leave a Reply