Jayden Daniels explains why he left Arizona State and what attracted him to LSU
Perhaps Jayden Daniels’ decision to leave Arizona State this past winter didn’t register as a huge surprise given the rest of the turnover on the coaching staff and roster. Certainly, though, his decision to transfer to LSU and enter into a deep quarterback competition was a bit of a shocker.
During his first media session with reporters at LSU this week, Daniels shed some light on what went into that decision.
“My decision to enter the transfer portal was probably the best decision for me and my future career, the goals I want to accomplish,” Daniels said, via TigerBait.com. “Those conversations with Coach (Brian) Kelly and them, I showed interest in them, they showed interest back. Talked on the phone, just had the opportunity to come play at the highest level, help a powerhouse win another national championship so I could showcase my skills. That’s probably the most intriguing thing for me.
“Coach Kelly is the winningest coach in Notre Dame history, so you know he knows how to win. He knows how to get his team where he needs it to be, so I wanted to be a part of it.”
At LSU, Daniels is competing this offseason with three other scholarship quarterbacks to lead the Tigers out for their first game of the season on Sept. 4. The team returns Myles Brennan, a fifth-year senior, and Garrett Nussmeier, a redshirt freshman. The Tigers also added Walker Howard in the 2022 class.
Brennan was the Tigers’ starter in 2020, throwing for 1,112 yards and 11 touchdowns before suffering an abdominal injury that cut the year short. Prior to the 2021 campaign, he suffered an arm injury during a boating accident that sidelined him for the entire year. Nussmeier was a 4-star recruit from Texas who signed with the program out of the 2021 class, ranked as the 14th-best quarterback prospect in the cycle by the 247 Composite. Howard, the ’22 signee, was even more highly-touted as a prospect, joining the program as the fifth-best quarterback in his respective class.
Kelly has options in his first year running the program.
“Coach Kelly was very transparent,” said Daniels of his talks with the staff about the battle.
“The best player is going to play. It’s not anything where we’re on the phone and he’s guaranteeing me, talking about you’re going to start or anything. It’s been very transparent. Walker, Myles came back, Nussmeier is a good player. At the end of the day, I didn’t want anything handed to me and I felt like it was the best spot for me.”
Daniels left the Sun Devils program this offseason after starting each of his first three seasons in college. After reportedly meeting with ASU coach Herm Edwards, Daniels announced a return for his fourth year. Daniels completed 62.4% of his passes for 6,025 yards and 32 touchdowns in 29 games over three years, leading the Sun Devils to an 8-5 record this past season. But he elected to enter the transfer portal in February and landed with the Tigers less than a month later.
“I always enjoyed my time at Arizona State,” Daniels said. “I love Coach Herm and those guys over there. Just for my career, my future, I decided to go somewhere else so I can reach untapped potential. They did a great job over there at ASU, but coming here, coming to LSU, I get to showcase my talents on the national stage now. A lot of people back home don’t get to really see our games, so coming here and competing at the highest level with all these weapons here, all these resources, it’s very intriguing for me to come.”
Daniels was also asked about the reaction to his departure from some of his former teammates, and he effectively put to rest any questions about hard feelings on either side.
“It’s a fresh start (at LSU). What happened at Arizona State happened, that video, I still have a lot of love for those guys up there, still talk to them at the end of the day because it’s beyond football,” Daniels said. “I hope they do well this season.”
You can view Daniels’ entire session with reporters below, via TigerBait.com: