The decision delivers LSU one of the most accomplished quarterbacks to enter the NCAA transfer portal this offseason. Daniels threw for 6,025 yards and 32 touchdowns during his three seasons as Arizona State's primary starter.
He is expected to be a contender to start at LSU, which has a strong quarterback room but no obvious starter. He'll be competing with the trio of redshirt senior Myles Brennan, redshirt freshman Garrett Nussmeier and early enrollee Walker Howard.
With the addition of Daniels, there will likely be a robust quarterback competition in Kelly's first season as LSU's coach. Daniels is a graduate transfer, which means he'll be eligible to start the quarterback competition during spring football. He's expected to arrive mid-March, a source said, and his graduate program will allow to him enroll and be eligible. That will give Kelly, offensive coordinator Mike Denbrock and quarterbacks coach Joe Sloan a full spring and summer camp to evaluate their quarterbacks.
"Jayden is an outstanding player who will make our quarterback room even stronger," Kelly said in a statement. "He's a playmaker with a strong arm and the ability to make plays with his feet. We are excited to welcome Jayden to our program as we continue to build a roster of student-athletes who will compete for championships on the field and work just as hard in the classroom to earn their degree."
Daniels entered 2021 regarded as one of the more talented quarterbacks in the country, although his progression at Arizona State has not been linear. He burst onto the scene as one of the country's top true freshmen in 2019, throwing 17 touchdowns and just two interceptions. Last season, he threw for 2,380 yards with 10 touchdowns and 10 interceptions.
Heading into the 2021 season, the 6-foot-3, 185-pound Daniels was considered one of the country's top NFL prospects, and he seemed destined to be a three-and-done prospect. He was the first player in Arizona State history to start his first career game, and he led the Sun Devils to an 8-5 record and a bowl win over Florida State.
Daniels entered the NCAA transfer portal on Feb. 18, a decision that came after releasing a video in December that said he'd be staying at Arizona State. His departure has been a blow to a Sun Devils program that has been riddled with coaching staff turnover and roster uncertainty as the NCAA continues to investigate recruiting violations in Herm Edwards' program.