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LSU Jayden Daniels
CFB

What’s The Ceiling For Jayden Daniels, LSU Offense?

  • Ryan Fowler
  • October 24, 2022
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On the heels of two consecutive blowout victories, LSU is BACK, baby. Well, not all the way back, but as the No. 18-ranked team in the nation, Brian Kelly’s Tigers look to be firing on all cylinders as they prepare for their showdown with Alabama on Nov. 5. 

A group without much familiarity, the arrival of Kelly initially threw a large wrench into the performance ceiling of the LSU program. A midwesterner whose faux bayou accent just days into his stint as head bench boss caused many to cringe in embarrassment, the play within the hashes now more than halfway through the season has overshadowed Kelly’s off-field antics.

A transfer from Arizona State, quarterback Jayden Daniels, a dual-threat talent, has begun to come into his own under center. An athlete known more for his ability to create with his lower half and outside of structure, his ability to improve within the pocket has seen him rapidly enhance his game when asked to stand tall within the pocket. While his 121-yard, three-touchdown day on the ground highlighted his afternoon against then No. 7-ranked Ole Miss, going 21-of-28 for 248 yards and two more scores is about as efficient as you can get in the passing game.

Daniels is targeting an array of weapons as well. All-world pass-catcher Kayshon Boutte draws the attention—and he’s been targeted—but it’s been the hands of Malik Nabers, Mason Taylor, Jaray Jenkins, and others who have shouldered the load around Boutte for LSU. Daniels has showcased the ability to diagnose coverages, understand what teams are rolling to post-snap, and identify man vs zone—it’s all been of rapid progression the last month.

A 349-yard, three-touchdown day against Anthony Richardson and the Florida Gators raised eyebrows too. It’s never easy to win in Gainesville—no matter how good or bad Florida is—and Jayden Daniels’ ability to make it look like a walk in the park spoke volumes. I understand the Gators’ defense has been one of the worst in the SEC this fall, but to dominate in the fashion he did under the pressure of the national stage served as a massive fuse to his senior campaign.

It hasn’t just been the play under center, however, as the Tigers have consistently improved all year long—a one-point loss to Florida State in Week 1 and drubbing by Tennessee at home remain the only blips on their resume. Defensively, it’s NFL talent galore once again in edge rushers B.J. Ojulari and Ali Gaye, interior stalwart Jaquelin Roy, corner Mekhi Garner, and freshman linebacker Harold Perkins—an early name to watch for 2025. LSU is playing good football on both sides of the ball, and as scary as momentum can be, the Tigers are cooking with fish grease as we approach Week 9.

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Ryan Fowler