John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports
BATON ROUGE – LSU’s Jayden Daniels picked up his first national honor on Thursday as he was named the recipient of the 2023 Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Educational Foundation announced.

Daniels learned of winning the award on Thursday morning when John Unitas, son of the legendary Baltimore Colts quarterback, called the LSU senior with the news.

The Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award is presented annually to the nation’s top quarterback who best exemplifies character, scholastic and athletic achievement. The Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award is one of three national awards dedicated to quarterbacks and Daniels is a finalist for the other two – the Manning Award and the Davey O’Brien Award.

Daniels joins Joe Burrow as LSU’s two Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award winners. Burrow won the award in 2019.

Daniels becomes the third LSU quarterback to win a national award, joining Burrow and JaMarcus Russell. Burrow won every national award for a quarterback on his way to the Heisman Trophy in 2019, while Russell was the recipient of the Manning Award in 2006.

Daniels’ exciting achievements will be honored on Thursday, December 7, in Baltimore. Two-time Super Bowl Champions and former Baltimore Colt Billy Curry will serve as the keynote speaker at the event. The 2023 Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award presentation celebrating Daniels will be livestreamed on the Golden Arm Award YouTube channel.

The candidates for the award were selected by the distinguished Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Selection Committee, a group of prominent college football journalists, commentators, announcers, and former players. The award annually recognizes the top senior or upperclassman quarterback set to graduate with their class. Candidates are chosen based on player performance on-and-off the field.
Daniels, who has had the best season of any FBS quarterback with nearly 5,000 total yards of offense, is also a finalist for the Walter Camp Player of the Year Award, and the Maxwell Award. The finalists for the Heisman Trophy will be announced on Monday night on ESPN.

Daniels has put together a record-setting season in 2023, leading the nation in total offense (412.2), touchdown passes (40), TDs responsible for (50) and rushing yards by a quarterback (1,134). His pass efficiency rating of 208.0 through 12 games is the best in FBS history.

The five-time SEC Offensive Player of the Week this year, Daniels is one of only two players in SEC history to pass for 3,500 yards and rush for 1,000 yards in a season, joining Johnny Manziel who did it in 2012 at Texas A&M.

Daniels is also one of only five players in SEC history to account for 50 touchdowns in a season, joining Heisman Trophy winners Burrow (63), Tim Tebow (55), Cam Newton (51) and Bryce Young (50).

Daniels became the first player in FBS history to pass for 350 yards and rush for 200 yards in a game when he did it in the win over Florida, setting the SEC record for total offense with 606 yards. Daniels passed for 372 yards and rushed for 234 yards in the 52-35 win over the Gators.

A week later, he tied the LSU record for touchdowns in a game with eight (6 passing, 2 rushing) in the win over Georgia State. He tied Burrow’s mark which was set against Oklahoma in 2019.

Daniels has accounted for at least four TDs in nine games this year, one shy of the school record and he’s reached the 400-yard mark in total offense six times. He joined Burrow as the only players in LSU history to have three 500-yard games of total offense in a season.

Overall, Daniels has thrown for 3,812 yards, connecting on 236-of-327 passes with only four interceptions.

Daniels has been the catalyst behind an LSU offense that leads the nation in total offense (547.8) and scoring (46.4). The Tigers are the only team in college football to average 300 passing yards and 200 rushing yards a contest. LSU ranks No. 4 nationally in passing yards per game (334.3) and No. 7 in rushing with a 213.5 average.

The LSU offense also features the nation’s leader in receiving yards in Malik Nabers and the top two touchdown producers at wide receiver in Brian Thomas (15) along with Nabers (14).

(Release via LSU Athletics)

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pitchandcatch273 months
Line them up JD5, more to come ! All well deserved. The best college football player in the country. Thanks for all the great memories. GEAUX TIGERS and JD5 !!
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CajunBullet3 months
Very well deserved and congratulations Jayden.
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Cwils22223 months
Remember the days of middling quarterbacks at LSU? Seems like a while ago now.
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theBru3 months
Miles couldnt even spell quarterback, much less recruit 1. He was trying to recruit Dak as a tight end, that tells you he didn't have a clue.
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bengalman3 months
Give that man all them awards!
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bapple3 months
If you had told me during the Les Miles years that LSU would start to become a QB development school for quarterbacks I would have told you to pass that joint to me. Hope this starts a longer trend. Geaux tigers.
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bapple3 months
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bapple3 months
External extractor is easier to service but it's definitely a departure from the classic design.
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drizztiger3 months
Hell yeah!
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Bill W Tiger3 months
What a year! You da man!
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LSU_Legz3 months
hope this one opens the flood gates for all the others he has clearly earned.
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LSU82Cajun3 months
Actually I would say- Golden Arm- 2 Golden legs & a Golden Leader= Johnny Unitas award
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Yeti_Chaser3 months
JaMarcus Russell won an award with scholastic achievement listed as one of the criteria?
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PAtiger213 months
No he won the manning award
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GeauxTigers01073 months
Not deserved. Earned! Congrats Jayden. Been a pleasure watching you grow.
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