I watch LSU quarterback Jayden Daniels play like a concerned parent. I’m convinced he’s going to get himself killed out there one day. Throughout my football-watching life, I’ve heard announcers gush over running backs who seek contact instead of running out of bounds. The guys who don’t take the easy way out but instead lower their shoulder into a tackler because they want the defender to know they’re the one who should be scared.
Daniels has that same mentality, but nobody gets excited when he does it because he’s a quarterback, and the quarterback is supposed to do everything in his power to avoid physical confrontation. Daniels does not subscribe to that theory, however.
I sometimes wonder if he throws himself in front of moving vehicles on campus during the week to feel alive.
While it terrifies me, there’s no doubting the results of his approach. Daniels is at the helm of one of the most potent offenses in the country, and his 3,094 total passing and rushing yards are not only the most in the nation by a QB, it’s 515 more yards than the next guy (Michael Penix Jr.). If the season were to end right now, Daniels would garner plenty of Heisman votes despite the fact LSU has lost twice and is out of the College Football Playoff race. That’s hard to do in the playoff era. What’s not as hard to do is reach No. 1 in my QB Power Rankings, but I hope Daniels is proud of the accomplishment anyway.
I also hope he learns to slide one of these days.
Honorable Mention: Brady Cook, Missouri; Jordan McCloud, James Madison; Kyle McCord, Ohio State; Michael Pratt, Tulane; Kaidon Salter, Liberty
Serving Detention: Drake Maye, North Carolina; Shedeur Sanders, Colorado; Caleb Williams, USC