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For just the 3rd time ever in program history, becoming the team's 2nd winner in 4 years, LSU QB Jayden Daniels hoisted the Heisman Trophy on Saturday night as a quarterback who established his own identity, a young man who carved his own path in the face of adversity, ultimately ascending into a transcendental superstar who made his own history during a legendary 2023 season.

Echoing much of Joe Burrow's stunning, Heisman-winning accomplishments and awards season dominance from 2019, Jayden Daniels joined Burrow by becoming just the 5th SEC player in conference history to reach 50 touchdowns in a season, also earlier tying #9's records when he accounted for 8 total TDs in a single game & threw for 5 TDs during a single half against two separate opponents. Overall, JD5 accounted for 4,946 total yards, 573 more than #2 ranked Bo Nix (Oregon's Heisman finalist), tossing 40 TD passes alongside 10 rushing scores.

But Daniels achieved something his fellow Tiger Heisman QB or anyone else in CFB history never accomplished: becoming the first player to throw for 350+ and rush for 200+ within the same game, as well as the only quarterback in FBS history to record 12,000+ career passing yards as well as 3,000+ on the iconic signifier of his epic career as the greatest dual threat signal caller in the annals of college football.
Throughout 2023, Daniels tossed 3,812 yards through the air (#3 nationally ranked), 40 TD passes (#1 ranked, 35/40 TDs thrown from inside the pocket), 4 interceptions, an FBS-record 208 QB rating, and a NCAA-leading display of passing over 20+ yards: 1,347 yards (#1), 35 completions from 55 targets (#1) and 22 TDs (#1), showcasing his array of aerial downfield dominance against SEC defenses.

But the singular difference between the two most recent Tiger Heisman winners lies in Daniels' unstoppable dual threat powers in combination, creating the nation's highest scoring offensive juggernaut, dropping 46.4 points per game (just 2 shy of 2019 LSU's FBS record) as he ran or passed his way through the nation's 7th rated strength of schedule.

As a true dual threat scoring machine, JD5 propelled Broyles Award finalist Mike Denbrock's 2023 LSU offense to an explosive, historic campaign, averaging a nation-leading 412 total yards per game, 8.4 yards per carry (1st among all rushers), topping 1,000 yards on the ground (1,134), before adding 10 rushing scores, making 47 would-be tacklers miss, earning 565 yards after contact (almost exactly half of his total rushing yards), escaping defenses for 41 rushes of 10+ yards, resulting in 52 1st downs earned using his legs.

Daniels also fed a pair of 1,000 yard record-breaking receivers, Biletnikoff finalist Malik Nabers (losing the award to Marvin Harrison Jr by 1 vote) & Biletnikoff semifinalist Brian Thomas Jr.

Daniels' two-year connection with Nabers opened the gates for the LSU junior WR to register consecutive 1,000 yard seasons, rank 1st all time in career LSU receptions, and remain only 23 yards away from snapping Josh Reed's program-leading all time career receiving mark (1,546 yards & 14 TDs this fall).

JD5 hit his other dominant junior receiver Brian Thomas Jr for 1,079 yards, with much of their combined production stemming from big time plays.

Connecting for 5 TDs of 49+ yards, Daniels' "#2 WR" surged up NFL Draft boards and simultaneously led the nation in receiving scores (15 overall, good enough for the 3rd all time single season mark in LSU history).

Altogether, Jayden was one of the most explosive players in Tiger history, however he was relentlessly tough (surviving 66 sacks over 2 seasons), clinically clutch (leading 7 comeback wins down double digits), and ruthlessly efficient (averaging an astounding 10.7 yards per play, aforementioned 8.4 per rush, as well as guiding the nation's best 3rd down converting offense at .567).

Still, Daniels' greatest achievement may be the manner in which his 10 wins during Year 1 calmed LSU's troubled, scandal-laden waters amid the transitional storm of the post-Orgeron era. Also, it can be argued JD5 faced down the spectre of Joe Burrow's legacy at LSU, welcoming the challenge against opponents as well as history itself, vanquishing the stark-raving shroud of Burrow's greatness while providing a blueprint for how to do it your own way.

Some will compare JD5 and Burrow beginning tonight, immediately putting each and every yard, accomplishment or performance through the grinder, racing through to judge one against the other, but when I sit back and look at it all from a view of 10,000 feet, I shake my head in wonder at how LSU were able to enjoy the presence of the two most statistically dominant & awards season-honored QBs in college football history over a span of just 4 years....



Copyright 2023 Uninterrupted Writings Inc, a subsidiary of Uninterrupted Media Inc

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3 commentaires

Valerie Phillips
Valerie Phillips
11 déc. 2023

Congratulations to DANIELS and LSU!


10 déc. 2023

I am so excited and happy for JD. He truly deserved this! His speech made me teary. So much class and humility. 😭💜💛💜


Happy for Jayden, and as an avid LSU fan, I am immensely proud that we had a man like him representing LSU. He is a winner on and of the field. More greatness yet to come.

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