LSU's senior quarterback, Jayden Daniels, has been named the starting quarterback on the USA TODAY Sports All-America teams, thereby strengthening his position as a favorite for the Heisman Trophy. The announcement came as a result of Daniels delivering one of the most productive seasons in Bowl Subdivision history. He has thrown for over 3,800 yards, rushed for more than 1,100 yards, and contributed to a staggering 50 touchdowns.
Debate Over All-America Team Selection
The All-America team selection sparked debate, particularly regarding second-team honors. Oregon's Bo Nix was chosen over Washington's Michael Penix Jr., despite Washington's two head-to-head wins during the regular season.
Offensive and Defensive Standouts
The All-America team boasts of offensive standouts such as Ohio State's Marvin Harrison Jr., Michigan's Zak Zinter, Oklahoma State's Ollie Gordon II, and Georgia's Brock Bowers, who secured his third All-America accolade. The defensive lineup doesn't fall short, with North Carolina State's Payton Wilson, Alabama's Dallas Turner, and Iowa's Jay Higgins leading the linebackers. Notre Dame safety Xavier Watts, recipient of the Bronko Nagurski award, and Iowa cornerback Cooper DeJean comprise the secondary.
Daniels' Exceptional Performance
Jayden Daniels has been the most dominant player in college football in 2023. He leads the nation in total offense (412.2), passing TDs (40), total TDs (50), and rushing yards by a quarterback (1,134). Daniels also set an SEC record with 606 total yards against Florida when he became the first player in FBS history to rush for 200 yards (234) and pass for 350 yards (372) in a game. His personal quarterback coach, Taylor Kelly, has been instrumental in Daniels’ exceptional performance. Daniels had also been named the SEC Offensive Player of the Year by the league coaches.