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LSU QB Jayden Daniels wins Heisman Trophy


On Saturday night, Daniels took a turn as a receiver. He hauled in the Heisman Trophy as the nation's most outstanding college football player during a ceremony in New York.

"This is a dream come true," Daniels said.

Daniels finished with 503 first-place votes and 2,029 points overall in Heisman Trophy voting.

Washington quarterback Michael Penix Jr. was the runner-up with 292 first-place votes and 1,701 points. Oregon quarterback Bo Nix finished third with 51 first-place votes and 885 points, and Ohio State wideout Marvin Harrison Jr. was fourth with 20 first-place votes and 352 points.

It was the latest in a growing list of honors for Daniels. He was selected as the Walter Camp national player of the year and he won the Davey O'Brien Award, which is given annually to the nation's top quarterback.

In 12 games this season, Daniels has completed 72.2 percent of his passes for 3,812 yards, 40 touchdowns and four interceptions. He also rushed for 1,134 yards and 10 touchdowns while averaging 8.4 yards per carry.

Daniels became the third player in LSU history to win the Heisman Trophy. He joined halfback Billy Cannon, who won the award in 1959, and quarterback Joe Burrow, who won in 2019.

The Arizona State transfer praised his teammates, coaches and family for helping him to win the award. He spent three seasons with the Sun Devils before moving on to LSU last season.

This season, Daniels said, he focused on improving as much as he could as a player and leader.

"They said I was too skinny, so I added weight," Daniels said. "They said I relied on my legs a little bit too much, so I went to work -- I completed all those passes and had the season I had. They said I was too quiet, so I became more vocal. I stepped out of my comfort zone, and now I'm here today.

"So what did I learn from all this? I learned how to block out the noise, that you can overcome any obstacle, and just be humble, be legendary, and most importantly be joyful about what you do. When you get knocked down, get back up. Keep smiling, and never give up on your dreams."

LSU coach Brian Kelly was in attendance to see Daniels claim the trophy. Kelly praised Daniels for his determination, which helped the Tigers win nine games in the regular season.

"He was intentional, he was thoughtful and he was committed to doing this," Kelly said. "I think everything that he did, he had a purpose. Every single day, he was purposeful in what he did and what his intentions were, and that was to be the best quarterback in NCAA football."

Several former Heisman Trophy winners including Robert Griffin Jr., Tim Tebow and Desmond Howard also participated in the ceremony. Twenty-two previous winners took the stage before Daniels was announced as the latest honoree.

Including Daniels, seven of the past eight Heisman Trophy winners have played quarterback. The lone exception during that span is DeVonta Smith, who won the trophy as an Alabama wideout in 2020.

--Field Level Media

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Field Level Media features breaking news & coverage of 7,000+ annual events from a network of more than 200 professional journalists across North America.

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