What Happened to Jayden Daniels? Latest on Heisman Trophy Winner

    Heisman Trophy-winning QB Jayden Daniels has opted out of the ReliaQuest Bowl and has declared for the NFL Draft. Who will start for the LSU?

    When LSU takes on Wisconsin in the ReliaQuest Bowl on New Year’s Day, they will be without their Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback, Jayden Daniels.

    The ReliaQuest Bowl will take place on Jan. 1 at noon ET at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida, home of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. However, the most outstanding player in college football in 2023 will not be on the field, having declared for the 2024 NFL Draft.

    Why Is Jayden Daniels Not Playing in the ReliaQuest Bowl?

    The LSU starting QB has opted out of the ReliaQuest Bowl and has declared for the NFL Draft. ESPN reported on Dec. 18 that the Heisman Trophy winner was “headed to the NFL draft and will skip the Tigers’ upcoming bowl game.”

    Daniels is expected to be one of the top quarterbacks selected in the 2024 NFL Draft. A projected potential top-10 pick, it isn’t surprising that Daniels has opted to sit out the ReliaQuest Bowl. The other expected top quarterbacks, USC’s Caleb Williams and North Carolina’s Drake Maye, also opted out of their retrospective bowls.

    He will be a huge miss for the Tigers, coming off a season where he became the first LSU QB since Joe Burrow to win the Heisman Trophy. Daniels also won the AP Player of the Year and the Davey O’Brien Award.

    In 2023, his second at LSU, Daniels threw for 3,812 yards, 40 touchdowns, and only four interceptions. The fifth-year senior totaled 12,749 passing yards, 89 touchdowns, and 20 interceptions in his college career.

    What makes Daniels a special player is what he can do with his legs. In 2023, he rushed for 1,134 yards and a further ten touchdowns. He ran for 3,307 yards and 34 touchdowns in his entire five-year career.

    The LSU QB shared an emotional video on his social media channels paying tribute to LSU and his former team, Arizona State.

    MORE: 2023 CFB Bowl Game Opt-Out Tracker

    “I want to say thank you to everyone who made this happen, but all great things must come to an end,” Daniels said. “I feel better about the state of the program with the quarterback moving forward. No matter what, I promise this will not be the last time y’all see ‘That Kid’ around because this is my city and my second home.”

    Despite not playing in the ReliaQuest Bowl, Daniels will be cheering on his teammates at the game.

    Who Will Play QB for LSU in the ReliaQuest Bowl?

    With Daniels out, backup QB Garret Nussmeier is expected to start in the ReliaQuest Bowl. The backup QB has been patient, waiting his turn. He has spent three seasons in Baton Rouge, but the ReliaQuest Bowl will be his first start for the Tigers.

    Speaking to the media on Dec. 21, Nussmeier said, “It’s been a long three years trying to stay patient and trust in the plan, trust in the process, trust in God’s plan. It’s a weird feeling, but I’m very excited. I’m more excited to get out there, play my best, and show people what I can do.”

    LSU is also expected to enter the 2024 season with Nussmeier under center. The other QBs on the depth chart are Rickie Collins and 2024 recruit Colin Hurley.

    Miss any action from the top college QB Rankings during the 2023 football season? Want to track all the movement with the college football’s transfer portal? College Football Network has you covered with that and more!

    College Football Transfer Portal Tracker

    Never miss a beat with the CFN-exclusive College Football Transfer Portal Tracker, listing the student-athletes entering and exiting the transfer portal.

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