Former Cajon High Standout Jayden Daniels Wins Heisman
San Bernardino resident, and former Cajon High School standout Jayden Daniels recently won the Heisman Trophy, crowning the superstar quarterback at No. 13 ranked LSU the best in college football for the 2023-24 season.
It has been a whirlwind week for Daniels. In addition to being in the bright lights of New York, the best football player in college football was also named Associated Press Player of the Year recently.
Daniels was the favorite to win the Heisman. However, the other three finalists made a strong case to be considered. The other finalists included Michael Penix Jr., quarterback at the No. 2 University of Washington, Bo Nix, quarterback at No. 8 University of Oregon and Marvin Harrison Jr., wide receiver at No. 7 ranked Ohio State University.
Daniels has most certainly improved his stock for the 2024 NFL Draft.
After Daniels was named AP Player of the Year the writing was pretty much on the wall for him to win the Heisman. Only twice in history has the AP Player of the Year not won the Heisman. The final tally for The AP Player of the Year results were similar to the Heisman results. Both had Daniels first, Penix Jr. second, Nix third followed by Harrison Jr. in the fourth position.
Daniels, who transferred to LSU in 2022 after two stellar years at Arizona State received 503 first place votes and 2,029 points. After breathing a sigh of relief when his name was called, Daniels honored the other finalists then immediately embraced his parents who both were shedding tears of joy.
In 12 regular season football games Daniels’ performance was truly special. The 6’4” 210 lbs. quarterback put up numbers that were unparalleled by other NCAA quarterbacks. Daniels had 50 touchdowns and close to 5,000 total yards.
There was chatter about Daniels being a Heisman candidate all season. However, his performance against Florida sealed the deal. After that showcase Daniels was clearly the frontrunner, everyone else was playing catch up. His performance was so dominant, he even shyly celebrated with the Heisman pose after being coerced by his teammates. During his record setting performance against Florida, Daniels was named SEC Offensive Player of the Week for the fourth time this season. During that game Daniels led LSU to a 52-35 victory by putting 701 yards of total offense. He rushed for a record 234 yards, including two touchdowns runs of 85 and 51 yards. He completed 17-of-26 passes for 372 yards and three touchdowns. He averaged 11.5 yards per play, the second highest in LSU history. Not only did that performance secure the Heisman, it also put NFL teams on notice. Daniels vaulted himself from an early second round draft pick to a first round draft pick without question.
Daniels led the Nation in total offense with 4,946 yards in 12 games averaging 412.2 yards per game. He passed for 3,812 yards which ranks in the top of the Nation. Daniels was first in yards per attempt, first in touchdown pass completion, and first in yards per completion.
LSU is scheduled to play Wisconsin in the RaliaQuest Bowl on January 1. Daniels has yet to decide if he will play. He is the first player since Lamar Jackson to win the Heisman on a team that is not playing for a championship.
Daniels has found success at every level. It started in Junior All-American football as a youth playing for the San Bernardino Black Hawks. It flourished as a 14 year old 140 lbs. freshman starting quarterback at Cajon High School. He made a statement as a true freshman starting quarterback at Arizona State. He let everyone know he has arrived while dominating at LSU. The next stop for Daniels is the NFL. He will turn 23 on December 18th, and he has a lot of football left to play.