Jayden Daniels has officially transferred from Arizona State to LSU football. Is Daniels a good fit for the Tigers and new head coach Brian Kelly?
Last Sunday, Arizona State quarterback Jayden Daniels officially transferred, committing to LSU and new head coach Brian Kelly. It was a curious move because Daniels had stated that he would stay in Tempe. Instead, Daniels entered the portal three weeks ago, committing to the Tigers on March 6.
Why did Daniels leave?
The Arizona State football program is currently under investigation by the NCAA for improper visits while under state and NCAA COVID-19 restrictions. Many coordinators have been fired, and offensive coordinator Zak Hill resigned amid the investigations.
Hill’s resignation means Daniels would have to learn his third offense since signing with the Sun Devils.
Daniels might simply want a fresh start in a new place. There are allegations that his mother had a hand in the Sun Devils’ improprieties, claims which she denies. One thing is for sure, Daniels wanted out of Tempe, and his teammates and coaches were not too broken up about it.
Was Daniels out of favor at ASU?
Everyone has seen the infamous tweet after Daniels entered the portal:
If this tweet is an indicator of the locker room, Daniels did not have many friends bidding him fare thee well after leaving the Sun Devils.
Arizona State players, however, might not have been the only ones not too upset to see him leave. Daniels had fallen out of favor with many of the remaining coaches, according to Bud Elliot of the Cover 3 Podcast. Offensive coaches were not happy with his lack of progress and regression during his time there.
No matter the motive, Daniels is now an LSU Tiger. The question now is whether or not Daniels can succeed with the Bayou Bengals.
There are no guarantees in this business
Daniels joins a program with a deep quarterback room. Myles Brennan, who opted to stay in Baton Rouge, Garrett Nussmeier, and top-50 recruit Walker Howard are all in LSU’s quarterback room. Suffice it to say, Daniels is not guaranteed to start.
Why then would new head coach Brian Kelly decide to sign Daniels? Kelly and his staff are likely not ready to hand the keys to Howard despite being so highly touted. Also, Kelly and offensive coordinator Mike Denbrock must not love Brennan or Nussmeier either.
Competing to start is new territory for Daniels
Daniels was the crown jewel of head coach Herm Edwards’ first recruiting class in 2019. Daniels was all but guaranteed he’d be the starting quarterback on day one. It is no secret how “involved” Daniels’ mother has been in the program during his time in Tempe.
That was then. Daniels must compete to play at LSU, and his mother won’t be as influential as she was at Arizona State. Moreover, Daniels has a bit of a tarnished reputation because he left the Sun Devils. You are kidding yourselves if you think these players don’t contact one another after meeting at these national camps, either.
Maybe Daniels is up to the task. Perhaps he wants to compete. Whether he is or isn’t, competing and being better is the only way he will see the field in August.