Who is Jayden Daniels?
A four-star recruit out of California, Daniels joined Arizona State and started as a true freshman. He would carry that role for three years, which included a Sun Bowl win over Florida State as a freshman and a loss in the Las Vegas Bowl last year to Wisconsin.
Daniels was recruited as a true dual-threat quarterback, and he lived up to the billing at Arizona State, with his explosiveness being a hallmark of his game. His touchdown-to-interception ratio was 32:13 during his time at Arizona State, but 10 interceptions came last season.
Daniels transferred to LSU after his junior season, which resulted in a firestorm around him due to comments from his mom. His transfer came on March 6, but he left some drama with the program, as his mom allegedly helped with ASU recruiting violations.
The violations reportedly occurred during the COVID-19 recruiting dead period, and after Daniels left, his mom seemingly had some words for the program.
“We wish them well … we just had to let it go,” Regina Jackson said, per AZ Central. “They feel some type of way and I understand. I’m a businesswoman and I understand. However, LSU probably gained a lot of Arizona State fans cause they just waited for him to fail and it’s OK.”
Perhaps Daniels just needs a fresh start. He has the experience to start, but another question is whether or not he fits in Kelly’s offense.
Who is Garrett Nussmeier?
Garrett Nussmeier was another four-star recruit from Flower Mound, Tex.. A Lake Charles, Louisiana native, he has a pedigree in his father Doug, who is currently the quarterback coach for the Dallas Cowboys. He also played college football with Idaho.
In an interesting wrinkle, LSU wanted Nussmeier to start last year’s Texas Bowl and maintain redshirt status, but the NCAA denied the Tigers’ petition. While that was an old regime and didn’t necessarily tip anything with LSU’s plans, it indicates what they saw out of his stat line last year.
A redshirt freshman this year, Nussmeier doesn’t bring much in the way of stats to the fold. For him, it’s all potential. He completed 29 of 57 passes for 329 yards last season, but the offense hardly put him in a position to succeed as the team reeled in coaching flux after the firing of Ed Orgeron. Under Kelly and with an overhauled roster, he may get a better shot this season.
One thing that might affect Nussmeier is the ankle injury that kept him out of drills last month, but according to him, he’s healthy.
“I’m feeling good. I’m back at 100 percent,” Nussmeier said, per Saturday Down South. “I’m blessed to be out there, never take anything for granted.”
Could Brian Kelly play both quarterbacks?
One option is playing both, but with a game against Florida State, this isn’t like Michigan taking on Colorado State and Hawaii and playing Cade McNamara and J.J. McCarthy. Whoever gets the reps for LSU should probably be looking to play out the game.
Furthermore, LSU is looking to have a rebound season of its own, so the first game of the season isn’t the best time to hold tryouts. With that being said, Kelly is no stranger to playing multiple quarterbacks. At Notre Dame, he did so multiple times, so he may also try to experiment with the Tigers.
Daniels and Nussmeier can run, but Nussmeier likes to throw first, sometimes at his peril. In other words, they bring similar-but-different styles to the LSU offense.
According to Kelly, LSU already knows the starter and only withholds the name from the media. In other words, someone already holds the edge. We’ll know at the game time who that is.