Team effort: LSU lending a promotional, creative hand in Heisman race to get Jayden Daniels successfully across finish line

LSU quarterback Jayden Daniels is all smiles Saturday with the media following his performance in the Tigers' 42-30 victory over Texas A&M. PHOTO BY: Jonathan Mailhes

LSU football has taken its case to promote quarterback Jayden Daniels for this year’s Heisman Trophy to the World Wide Web.

A collaborative effort stemming from the school’s creative content team, digital media and branding, along with the sports information department, have spawned a comprehensive page on the front of the school’s website www.lsusports.net/thatkidjayden devoted to Daniels and his pursuit of the 2023 Heisman Trophy.

“This will give people an opportunity to peek behind the curtain and see some things maybe they hadn’t seen before,” LSU associate athletic director in charge of football communications Michael Bonnette said on the Nov. 21 edition of Tiger Rag Radio. “Our social and creative group are with our team the whole time. That’s another plus about BK (coach Brian Kelly) seeing the big picture. There are cameras around our team all the time. The access is really unlike anything we’ve seen before. You’ll see some pretty neat stuff.”


The timing of LSU’s web page touting Daniels’ accomplishments, statistics and videos comes at a time when the Tigers (9-3) have completed their regular season.

While Daniels won’t physically be playing on a football field this week, and some of his closest competitors are scheduled to take part in conference championships, LSU tried taking measures this week to keep Daniels’ record-setting season at the fore of the 929 Heisman voters. They have until the close of business Dec. 4 to cast their ballot with the top vote getters receiving a trip for the Heisman ceremony in New York.

The winner will be announced Dec. 9.

“We’re part of helping spread the word,” Bonnette said of his department. “But with all of the ESPNs and social media, if you’re not voting for this kid, you just don’t want to vote for him. He’s the best player in America that plays on Saturdays. If you were to take his stats and do a blind test with the other guys, it’s not even close.”

Listen to interview with Mike Bonnette about Jayden Daniels’ Heisman campaign

Daniels’ finish to the ’23 season is already Heisman worthy.

He currently ranks ahead of previous Heisman winners in the following categories:

* 8.4 yards per carry by a QB;

* 10.7 yards per play;

* 208.0 passer rating (NCAA record);

* 11.7 yards per pass attempt;

Daniels leads the nation in the aforementioned areas along with these categories:

* 4,946 total yards;

* 72.2 completion percentage;

* 95.6 QB rating;

* 1,134 rushing yards by QB;

* 50 total TDs;

* 40 passing TDs;

* 90 plays of 20+ yards;

* 8.4 yards per carry;

* 302 points responsible for;

“There are going to be a series of videos and kind of story telling about Jayden,” Bonnette said. “We don’t play this week, so we want to stay on the top of the minds of people. Just to keep them refreshed and hey, ‘what a special year this kid’s had.’ He’s done all of the hard work. The hard work for us is crunching the numbers and figuring out which record he hasn’t broken, or which one he’s about to break.

“It’s been an ongoing effort,” Bonnette said. “That’s one of the good things about having the relationship with ESPN and SEC Network. We don’t have to pick up the phone and beg for interviews. You pick up the phone and the next thing you know Marty Smith’s in town or (Fox Sports) Tom Rinaldi’s in town. Give Jayden a lot of credit. For all of the wonderful things he’s doing on the field, he’s been so gracious and humble, and willing to do whatever’s asked of him in terms off the field in terms of interviews and access. It’s been a lot of fun dealing with him.”

Daniels, quarterback of the nation’s No. 1 offense in terms of scoring and total offense, has averaged 412.2 total yards per game which ranks above any previous Heisman winner.

He’s also the first FBS player to ever register 12,000 passing yards and 3,000 rushing yards in a career and the first to pass for 350 yards (372) and rush for 200 yards (234) in the same game. He’s also one of two players in the Southeastern Conference to ever pass for 3,500 yards and rush for 1,000 yards in a season and is the only player to ever reach 500 total yards in back-to-back games.

“BK really wants Jayden to win this award for a lot of reasons,” Bonnette said. “Most importantly because Jayden has earned this award. He deserves this award. There’s so much more to Jayden than what you see on the field. He’s watching film at 5:30 a.m. to be part of the success of his teammates. That’s important to him. You want to go that extra mile for a guy like Jayden. He certainly deserves it.”

2 Comments

  1. Noone seems to consider TOP for Jayden Daniels. He has had about 20% less time of possession to raise his numbers. If he has had the TOP as has Oregon QB he would have about 54 touchdowns and 20% more yardage.

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