Jayden Daniels lands at No. 86 in ESPN’s college football top 100 players

Aug 28, 2021, 8:19 AM
TEMPE, AZ - DECEMBER 05:  Arizona State Sun Devils quarterback Jayden Daniels (5) looks on before t...
TEMPE, AZ - DECEMBER 05: Arizona State Sun Devils quarterback Jayden Daniels (5) looks on before the college football game between the UCLA Bruins and the Arizona State Sun Devils on December 5, 2020 at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Arizona. (Photo by Kevin Abele/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
(Photo by Kevin Abele/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

With the Arizona State Sun Devils football team kicking off the 2021 season in 10 days, quarterback Jayden Daniels is regarded as one of college football’s top 100 players by ESPN.

Coming in at No. 86, Daniels makes the list this year after there wasn’t one prior to the 2020 season due to the question marks surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.

The junior signal caller made the list partly due to his play as a true freshman, throwing for 17 touchdowns and just two interceptions. However, ESPN’s staff who made the list couldn’t put the Sun Devils’ quarterback any higher after an up-and-down sophomore campaign.

“With just four games last season, he didn’t have time to build much momentum, but now has the opportunity to make a name for himself nationally,” the article read.

After an inconsistent offensive output in 2020, Daniels said at the beginning of training camp that he can see the growth of the offense under second year offensive coordinator Zak Hill.

“I mean, you can see just the growth from last year to this year in the offense. It’s a little more comfortable to be able to go out there and check the plays and do other things,” Daniels said. “It just came through building that relationship with Coach Hill over the spring.”

Daniels added that it’s still up to him to make the plays but has shown he’s more than capable in doing so during his time at ASU.

A true dual threat, the California native has 3,644 career passing yards to go with 22 scores and just three interceptions. He can hurt the defense with his legs too, rushing for 578 yards and seven touchdowns in his two seasons at ASU.

Heading into the season, Daniels has been named to three award watch lists, the Walter Camp Player of the Year, the Maxwell Award and the Davey O’Brien Award.

Daniels was the only Sun Devil to make the list. However, the Pac-12 was well represented.

Other Pac-12 players in ESPN’s top 100 include Oregon wide receiver Johnny Johnson III (No. 98), running back CJ Verdell (No. 97) and defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux as the No. 3 overall player for 2021. Washington was represented by defensive back Trent McDuffie (No. 92), offensive lineman Jaxson Kirkland (No. 91) and tight end Cade Otton (No. 89), while Utah saw linebacker Devin Lloyd (No. 76) crack the list. Additionally, USC had three members in the ranking, linebacker Drake Jackson (No. 56), wide receiver Drake London (No. 50) and quarterback Kedon Slovis (No. 12).

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