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ASU Football: Jayden Daniels will become an LSU Tiger

Heading down south

Syndication: Arizona Republic Rob Schumacher/The Republic / USA TODAY NETWORK

The Jayden Daniels transfer saga has found a conclusion in an unexpected destination.

Weeks ago, tea leaves were directing Jayden Daniels to the SEC, and the Missouri Tigers as his destination. In the middle of swirling rumors, Daniels himself took to Twitter to shut down the speculation.

On Sunday afternoon, new reports surfaced. Again they point Daniels to the SEC, and again he is expected to strap up for the Tigers. This time, those reports direct the rising senior quarterback several hundred miles south of Missouri, to the Bayou, and the LSU Tigers. Those reports were confirmed later Sunday evening by LSU.

Daniels will resume his collegiate career in Baton Rouge, under the direction of Brian Kelly, who will begin his first season with the Tigers as head coach this fall.

LSU currently has three quarterbacks listed on its depth chart. Myles Brennan missed all of 2021 with an off-the-field injury, but he was the starter in 2020, and returns for a sixth year in 2022. Garrett Nussmeier, the son of longtime college football coordinator Doug Nussmeier, committed in 2021. Walker Howard is an incoming 4-star freshman, expected to be part of the program’s future.

Max Johnson, the starter throughout 2021, transferred away from the program in favor of Texas A&M in December.

As Daniels heads to the SEC, he brings multiple years of starting quarterback experience. He entered Tempe regarded as an electric talent; a 4-star quarterback from San Bernardino, Calif., he was one of the highest rated recruits the Sun Devil program had ever received a commitment from.

His freshman season delivered on much of the promise. He threw for nearly 3,000 words and passed for 17 touchdowns to just two interceptions. His most enduring moment as a Sun Devil happened later that fall, as Daniels out-dueled Justin Herbert and then No. 6 Oregon in a primetime victory in Tempe.

But the 2020 pandemic shortened the Sun Devils’ season and stunted Daniels’ development. He entered his junior year a noticeably less polished quarterback than he was during his freshman season.

In 2021, his interception total increased dramatically, from just three during his first two years to 10 interceptions in 2021 against 10 touchdowns. As Daniels became less reliable as a thrower, the team became incredibly run-centric, and running back Rachaad White flourished as a result.

While Daniels had his struggles when he dropped back, he was consistently successful getting up field as a runner in 2021, where he carried the ball 138 times for 710 yards and six touchdowns.

Because the 2020 season does not count against a player’s eligibility, Daniels will have two seasons of eligibility with LSU.

He will be eligible for spring practice, which begins on March 23.