Most people associate Jayden Daniels with his number five jersey. And he’s donned that for awhile, but he’ll wear another number from time to time. A predominant red jersey that shins a white number four. Daniels doesn’t hide his passion for who that jersey represents.
Since he competed in the Elite 11 quarterback competition, the now Houston Texan quarterback Deshaun Watson has had a fan in Daniels. A few recruiting services often compared Daniels to Watson, no surprise to Daniels because he said he’s modeled parts of his game after the former Clemson signal caller.
Daniels certainly hopes he can bring as much success to Arizona State as Watson did for Clemson.
“Saying that he could win at the highest level at college. Win a National championship.,” Daniels said. “That’s the main thing we want here. Build a program. Win a Rose Bowl. Win a National championship.”
All that said, I asked Daniels to give his thoughts on a few of Watson’s best plays.
2019 Week 1 vs. New Orleans Saints
38-yard throw to DeAndre Hopkins
37-yard touchdown to Kenny Stills
“He knew the situations. He’s been there before when they’re down. Got to to win the game. Just knowing the situations.
“The first play he goes with the best matchup. He put the ball perfectly near out of bounds. (On the second play) seeing an all out blitz, you got to make a throw and he made it. That’s the kind of mentality and suaveness from him that I see and what I try to model my game after.”
2017 Week 2 vs. Cincinnati Bengals
49-yard touchdown run
“It’s a different aspect to the game. Defensive coordinators have a hard time game planning someone that can throw and also make plays with his feet. You see here he basically just made a play with his feet that adds a different element to the game and his game also.”
2018 Week 8 vs. Seattle Seahawks
36-yard pass to Will Fuller V
Two-yard touchdown to Lamar Miller
“That’s what I feel makes him so dangerous being able to not just sit in the pocket and he can extend plays with his arm and his feet. Getting outside the pocket he’s harder to defend because you have to defend receivers longer, you have to defend him also. It opens up other things for the offense too.
“He’s just being real elusive. It’s why he’s my favorite quarterback. Just making stuff happen when there’s nothing there.”
2019 Week 8 vs. Oakland Raiders
One eyed nine-yard touchdown to Darren Fells
“Once again just making something happen. That’s probably how he’s been his whole life. Being able to make things happen when plays don’t work or when protection breaks down. Instead of going backwards he could’ve easily been sack but instead throws a touchdown.”
2018 Week 16 vs. Philadelphia Eagles
“Keeping his eyes down field. All chaos around you but that doesn’t mean you panic. He never does, he never panics.”
“It’s pretty difficult. You never know who is coming behind you. You have people in front of you. You break one tackle and someone else is coming after you. You got to quickly get your eyes up and really find your target and make something happen.”
On plays where a player never seems to go down.
“It’s just the heart, the love of the game. Not refusing to go down no matter what the situation. Always being a competitor. Thats the main thing is he’s competing and having fun out there.”