Jayden Daniels wins 2023 Heisman Trophy
LSU quarterback Jayden Daniels was awarded the Heisman Trophy on Saturday night in a ceremony held in New York City, becoming the third Tiger to win the honor.
Daniels becomes the third straight passer to win college football's most prestigious individual award, including last year's winner Caleb Williams.
Daniels secured 503 first-place votes to finish ahead of Washington's Michael Penix Jr., Oregon's Bo Nix, and Ohio State's Marvin Harrison Jr., who rounded out the list of finalists. He joins Billy Cannon (1959) and Joe Burrow (2019) as the only LSU alums to take home the award and is the third SEC signal-caller to earn the honor since 2019.
|Michael Penix Jr.
|Marvin Harrison Jr.
The California native began his collegiate career at Arizona State but became a household name after transferring to LSU ahead of the 2022 season. The dynamic quarterback went on to flourish in his final year of eligibility after posting modest numbers in 2022.
Daniels threw 40 touchdown passes, tied for the most in the country, and finished third nationally with 3,812 passing yards. Willing to display his dynamic ability as a dual-threat passer, he dashed for 1,134 rushing yards and added 10 scores. The 6-foot-4, 210-pound signal-caller put an exclamation point on his gaudy numbers by setting a FBS-record 208.01 quarterback rating.
The Tigers posted a 9-3 record in 2023 with Daniels under center. He became the first player in FBS history to pass for 350 yards and run for 200 yards, and he set a conference record with 606 total yards in a win over Florida. He also became only the fifth SEC passer to account for 50 TDs in a season alongside fellow Heisman winners Burrow, Bryce Young, Tim Tebow, and Cam Newton.
Daniels is the catalyst behind a prolific LSU unit that led the country in points per game (46.4) and total offense per game (547.8). He accounted for four scores in nine games while surpassing 400 total yards in six contests.
LSU's star becomes the first player on a three-loss team to win the Heisman since Lamar Jackson in 2016. Daniels was a force in each of the Tigers' three defeats this season, averaging 413 yards of total offense to go along with nine TDs.
The LSU signal-caller adds to his postseason trophy collection after winning the Davey O'Brien and Walter Camp Player of the Year award Friday.
Super seniors found their stride during the 2023 season. Oregon star Nix showed incredible improvement this season after posting respectable totals a year ago. The 23-year-old passed for 4,145 yards and posted an incredible 40-3 TD-INT ratio. He propelled Oregon to the second-highest total offense average with 526.6 yards per game.
Nix appeared to make his case for winning the 2023 honor after orchestrating a dominating display throughout his final year with the Ducks, including authoring three scores in a win against rival Oregon State last month. In a seminal moment, Nix rolled out of the pocket to the right hash with defenders in pursuit and unloaded a throw that appeared to pause in the air before being caught by Troy Franklin, who strode into the end zone.
The Alabama native sought to become the first Oregon player to be recognized as the nation's most outstanding player since Marcus Mariota earned the honor in 2014.
Washington's Penix played spoiler to Oregon's Pac-12 championship ambitions, ultimately capturing the conference title and leading the Huskies to a 13-0 record. The 23-year-old is the only finalist who will be participating in the upcoming College Football Playoff. The Huskies stormed out of the gates to begin the season, with Penix throwing for 400 yards in each of his first three games. The sixth-year passer led the FBS with 4,218 passing yards and added 33 TDs. Washington sported the top passing offense in the country with a 343.8-yard average.
Penix is Washington's first finalist for college football's most prestigious award since Steve Emtman finished fourth in voting for the award in 1991. The Florida native became the first Maxwell Award winner since Tua Tagovailoa (2018) to not win the Heisman.
While many quarterbacks can make the case for best passer in the country, the honor of top wideout belongs solely to Harrison. The junior scored a touchdown in each of his final eight games of the season and led the Big Ten with 18.07 yards per catch. The 6-foot-4, 205-pound pass-catcher was named the Biletnikoff Award winner after hauling in 67 receptions and surpassing 1,000 yards for a second straight season with 1,211 yards and 14 scores.