Audio: Jayden Daniels named Manning Award winner

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NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — Jayden Daniels, the sensational dual-threat star of the LSU football team, has been selected as the winner of the 2023 Manning Award, presented by the Allstate Sugar Bowl to the top quarterback in the nation. Daniels is the fifth straight quarterback from the Southeastern Conference to earn the honor; he is also the third LSU honoree, more than any other school.

The Manning Award, now in its 20th year, was created by the Allstate Sugar Bowl to honor the college football accomplishments of Archie, Peyton and Eli Manning. It is the only quarterback award that takes into consideration the candidates’ bowl and playoff performances in its balloting. The award is voted on by a panel of local and national media, as well as each of the Mannings.

“Jayden had an amazing year for the Tigers,” said Archie Manning. “Even without playing in the postseason, he still led the nation in total offense, ranked fifth in passing offense, and accounted for 50 touchdowns. He was a thrill to watch every week and we’re looking forward to hosting him here in New Orleans to officially present him with the trophy.”

The Manning Award is the latest in a long list of honors for the LSU star. He became the Tigers’ third Heisman Trophy winner in history (joining Billy Cannon from 1959 and Joe Burrow from 2019) when he was announced as that prestigious award’s honoree in December in New York City. He also was the SEC’s Offensive Player of the Year, the Louisiana Offensive Player of the Year and a first-team All-American by the American Football Coaches Association, Football Writers Association of America, Sporting News and Walter Camp.

“It’s been a privilege for the Sugar Bowl to work with the Manning family for the past 20 years to present the Manning Award,” said Sugar Bowl CEO Jeff Hundley. “We’ve had the opportunity to recognize so many outstanding quarterbacks with this honor; and this year we have another great honoree who achieved video game-like numbers week-in and week-out. Congratulations to Jayden Daniels.”

Daniels put together a sensational season, leading the nation in total offense with 4,946 total yards, ranking second in passing touchdowns (40), and fifth in passing yards (3,812), while topping all quarterbacks with 1,134 rushing yards. His 412.2 total yards per game were more than 85 FBS teams and his 50 total TDs were more than 91 teams scored this year. The San Bernadino, Calif., native also joined Heisman winner Johnny Manziel as the only 3,500-yard passers-1,000-yard rushers in SEC history. Daniels completed 236-of-327 passes for 3,812 yards, 40 touchdowns and only four interceptions. He rushed and passed for a TD in seven games this year and he reached the 100-yard mark in rushing four times, including 163 against Alabama, 130 against Missouri and 120 against Texas A&M. In consecutive weeks in November, Daniels set the SEC record for total yards with 606 against Florida when he passed for 372 yards and rushed for 234 yards becoming the first player in FBS history to pass for 350 yards and rush for 200 yards in a game. The following week he tied the LSU record for TDs in a game with eight (6 passing, 2 rushing) in the win over Georgia State.

Daniels accounted for at least four TDs in nine games and joined Burrow as the only players in LSU history to reach the 500-yard mark three times in a season. Daniels had 513 yards against Ole Miss and 509 yards against Georgia State. In all Daniels topped the 400-yard mark six times in 2023.

Other finalists for this year’s Manning Award were: Carson Beck (Georgia), Dillon Gabriel (Oklahoma), Drake Maye (North Carolina), J.J. McCarthy (Michigan), Jalen Milroe (Alabama), Bo Nix (Oregon), Michael Penix, Jr., (Washington), Jordan Travis (Florida State), and Caleb Williams (USC).

In its first 20 years, the Manning Award has recognized the top names in college football. It has honored quarterbacks from 14 different schools and from four different conferences. The Southeastern Conference (Daniels, Stetson Bennett, Bryce Young, Joe Burrow, Mac Jones, Johnny Manziel, Cam Newton, JaMarcus Russell and Tim Tebow) leads the way with nine Manning Award honorees, while the Big 12 Conference (Kyler Murray, Baker Mayfield, Vince Young, Colt McCoy and Robert Griffin III) has had five winners. The Atlantic Coast Conference (Deshaun Watson twice, Matt Ryan and Jameis Winston) has had four Manning Award winners. LSU (Daniels, Burrow, and Russell) now leads the way with three honorees, while Alabama (Bryce Young and Jones), Oklahoma (Murray and Mayfield), and Texas (McCoy and Vince Young) have each produced a pair of Manning Award winners.

Statistically, the Manning Award has seen a wide-range of quarterbacks. Seventeen of the Manning Award men threw for over 3,000 yards in their winning campaign, including 4,000-yard seasons from Bennett, Burrow, Griffin III, Jones, Marcus Mariota, Mayfield, Murray, Ryan, Watson (twice), Winston and Bryce Young. On the other hand, Daniels, Manziel, Murray, Newton, Watson (in 2015) and Vince Young were all 1,000-yard rushers during their Manning years.

Perhaps most impressive among the statistics of the quarterbacks recognized by the Manning Award is touchdowns scored. Fourteen of the winners accounted for over 40 touchdowns during their successful seasons – Burrow’s 65 touchdowns (60 passing, five rushing) broke Mariota’s record (58 in 2014) for touchdowns by a Manning Award winner.

One of the more unique aspects of the Manning Award is the fact that it takes account of the quarterbacks’ bowl performances, in addition to the regular season. Sixteen of the 20 Manning Award winners won bowl games during the season they won the honor. Fourteen Manning Award honorees led their teams to the CFP Semifinals or a BCS Championship game appearance (Bennett, Burrow, Jones, Matt Leinart, Mariota, Mayfield, McCoy, Murray, Newton, Tebow, Watson, Winston and both Bryce and Vince Young). Nine won national championships (Bennett, Burrow, Jones, Leinart, Newton, Tebow, Watson, Winston and Vince Young).


Previous Manning Award winners have also factored prominently in the NFL Draft as they all heard their names called on Draft Day. Seven honorees were selected No. 1 overall (Burrow, Mayfield, Murray, Newton, Russell, Winston, and Bryce Young), while four others went No. 2 or No. 3 (Griffin III, Mariota, Ryan and Vince Young).

All the Manning Award winners follow in the footsteps of the Mannings themselves. In college, Archie, Peyton and Eli Manning combined for over 25,000 passing yards and 201 touchdowns while playing in 10 bowl games and earning four bowl MVP awards. Archie was the No. 2 pick in the NFL Draft, while both Peyton and Eli were selected No. 1 overall.

In addition to the Manning Award’s yearly honor, each week during the regular season, eight quarterbacks are recognized as Manning Quarterbacks of the Week. Sixty-six players were honored during the 2023 season and 519 different quarterbacks from 133 schools have been recognized since 2011.

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