This Year's Heisman Winner Is a Transfer Quarterback

LSU's Jayden Daniels wins even though his team left the playoff race early
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 10, 2023 12:01 AM CST
This Year's Heisman Winner Is a Transfer Quarterback
LSU quarterback Jayden Daniels speaks during a news conference before the award ceremony Saturday, Dec. 9, 2023, in New York.   (AP Photo/Eduardo Munoz Alvarez)

LSU quarterback Jayden Daniels overcame being outside the college football playoff race with a prolific season that Heisman Trophy voters could not ignore. Daniels won the Heisman Trophy on Saturday night, becoming the first player since 2016 to win college football's most prestigious player of the year award as part of a team that did not play for a conference championship, per the AP. The fifth-year player, who transferred from Arizona State to LSU in 2022, received 503 first-place votes and 2,029 points. "This is a dream come true," Daniels said in his acceptance speech.

Washington's Michael Penix Jr. was the the runner-up with 292 first-place votes and 1,701 points and Oregon's Bo Nix was third (51, 885), putting transfer quarterbacks in each of the top three spots. Ohio State receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. finished fourth (20, 352). Daniels, who turns 23 later this month, is the fifth quarterback in the last seven seasons to win the Heisman after transferring, joining former LSU star Joe Burrow in 2019 and USC's Caleb Williams last year.

Daniels' Tigers (9-3) slipped out of the playoff race with two losses in the first six weeks, but he certainly wasn't to blame. "I really wish I could have brought you back another championship," Daniels said as he thanked the LSU fans. Week after week, he fueled the best offense in the country with his passing and running. Daniels finished the regular season with 3,812 yards passing and 1,134 yards rushing and 50 total touchdowns in 12 games. He leads the nation in total offense at 412 yards per game and is averaging an astounding 10.71 yards per play.

(More Heisman Trophy stories.)

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