Jayden Daniels honored as top QB in college football, Payton Wilson named best defender

LSU quarterback Jayden Daniels continued to collect postseason awards when the honors were handed out Friday night.

Daniels, named The Associated Press player of the year on Thursday, won the Davey O’Brien Award as the top quarterback in college football, and Payton Wilson of North Carolina State won the Chuck Bednarik Award as the top defensive player.

Daniels, a San Bernardino, California, native who transferred to LSU from Arizona State in 2022, led the nation’s best offense this season as the Tigers gained 4,946 yards in 12 games (412.2 per game). He passed for 3,812 yards, third nationally, and his 40 TDs passing were tied for first with Oregon QB Bo Nix, who played in one more game than Daniels.

The 6-foot-4, 210-pound Daniels also rushed for 1,134 yards and 10 TDs. His 50 touchdowns rushing and passing combined, along with a 2-point conversion on a passing play, made him responsible for a nation-high 302 points.

Daniels is a finalist for the Heisman Trophy alongside Nix, Washington quarterback Michael Penix Jr. and Ohio State wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr.

Wilson was involved in 138 tackles for the Wolfpack with six sacks, one forced fumble, two fumble recoveries and three interceptions.

Harrison won the Bilitnikoff Award as the top receiver, Graham Nicholson of Miami (Ohio) won the Lou Groza Award as the top kicker, and T’Vondre Sweat of Texas won the Outland Trophy as the outstanding interior lineman.

Earlier this postseason, Notre Dame’s Xavier Watts won the Bronko Nagurski Award, a separate honor recognizing the top defensive player.


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