Heisman Trophy: LSU QB Jayden Daniels wins college football’s top award

NEW YORK — LSU quarterback Jayden Daniels was named the winner of the 89th Heisman Trophy on Saturday, college football’s most prestigious honor that recognizes the sport’s outstanding player.

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The winner was announced during a live ESPN telecast from Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York City.

Daniels received 503 first-place votes and 2,029 points overall. Michael Penix Jr. of the University of Washington placed second with 292 first-place votes and 1,701 points. Bo Nix of Oregon placed third with 51 first-place ballots and 888 points, while Marvin Harrison Jr. of Ohio State was fourth with 20 first-place votes and 352 points overall.

“This is a dream come true,” Daniels said after accepting the 25-pound statue.

It was the second straight year and the fourth time in the last seven years that a transfer has won the Heisman, ESPN reported. Daniels began his college career at Arizona State before transferring to LSU in 2022.

Three of the four finalists for Saturday’s ceremony were quarterbacks -- Daniels, Nix and Penix, ESPN reported. Harrison is a wide receiver.

According to its website, the Heisman Trophy is “annually awarded to the most outstanding college football player in the United States, whose performance epitomizes great ability combined with diligence, perseverance, and hard work.”

This century, 20 of the 23 Heismans awarded have gone to quarterbacks, USA Today reported. Southern California quarterback Caleb Williams won last year’s award.

Daniels became the third player from LSU to win the coveted statue, joining quarterback Joe Burrow in 2019 and running back Billy Cannon in 1959.

“I want to dedicate this award to every boy and girl who has a dream,” Daniels said. “With faith and hard work, you never know what’s possible.”

Daniels finished with 4,946 total yards and accounted for 50 touchdowns in 2023. That includes 3,812 passing yards and 40 touchdowns through the air; he also ran for 1,134 yards and 10 TDs, according to ESPN.

In the final year of the Pac-12, Penix led Washington to a 13-0 record and a semifinal berth in the College Football Playoff.

According to the NCAA, Penix became the highest-finishing Huskies player in Heisman voting history.

Penix passed for 4,218 yards and 33 touchdowns this season.

Nix was hoping to follow in the footsteps of 2014 winner Marcus Mariota and become Oregon’s second Heisman Trophy winner.

Nix threw for 4,145 yards and 40 touchdowns in 2023.

Nix and Penix give the Pac-12 two finalists for the first time since 2010, when Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck and Oregon running back LaMichael James finished second and third, respectively, to Auburn quarterback Cam Newton, ESPN reported.

Harrison was looking to become the eighth Heisman Trophy winner in the history of Ohio State football. According to the NCAA, he was the fifth Buckeye to become a finalist since 2018, joining defensive end Chase Young (2019), who finished fourth; and quarterbacks Dwayne Haskins (2018), Justin Fields (2019) and C.J. Stroud (2022), who all finished third in voting.

Harrison Jr. finished with 1,211 receiving yards and caught 14 touchdowns during the 2023 season.

Florida State quarterback Jordan Travis and Alabama quarterback Jalen Milroe finished No. 5 and No. 6, respectively, in the voting, according to The Athletic. The top 10 finishers were announced on Friday.

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