JT Daniels

American football player (born 2000)

JT Daniels
Daniels with the USC Trojans in 2018
No. 18
Personal information
Born: (2000-02-02) February 2, 2000 (age 24)
Irvine, California, U.S.
Height6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Weight237 lb (108 kg)
Career history
  • USC (2018–2019)
  • Georgia (2020–2021)
  • West Virginia (2022)
  • Rice (2023)
Bowl games
High schoolMater Dei
(Santa Ana, California)
Career highlights and awards

Jonathan Tyler Daniels (born February 2, 2000) is an American former college football quarterback who played for the USC Trojans and the Georgia Bulldogs, where he won the CFP national championship as a backup to Stetson Bennett. He then transferred to the West Virginia Mountaineers, and finally played for the Rice Owls.

Early years

Daniels was born in Irvine, California, the son of Ali and Steve Daniels. His father is Catholic and his mother is Jewish.[1] He attended Mater Dei High School in Santa Ana, California.[2] During his high school career, he passed for 12,014 yards with 152 touchdowns and 14 interceptions.[3]

Daniels was notable for earning the starting position his freshman year and full play calling responsibility his sophomore year, the latter of which being a distinction that took fellow Mater Dei and USC alum Matt Barkley until his senior year to earn.[4] He threw for 4,849 yards and 67 touchdowns his sophomore season. As a junior, he won the Gatorade Football Player of the Year and then later the Male Athlete of the Year award [5] after passing for 4,123 yards and scoring 61 total touchdowns (52 passing, nine rushing), leading his team to a 15–0 record and a consensus high school football national championship.[6][7] Mater Dei held the #1 position from the first week of the season and did not trail at any point in the season, winning every game by at least 10 points in CIF's Division I.[8]

College career


2018 season

Daniels was a five-star recruit and ranked as the number one overall recruit in his class by Rivals.com prior to his reclassification.[9] He committed to the University of Southern California (USC) to play college football.[10] In December 2017, Daniels announced that he would graduate early from high school and reclassify to the 2018 class.[11] He enrolled in USC in June 2018 upon completion of his high school course work. In August 2018, he began USC's two week fall camp in a three-way competition for the starting quarterback position. Within three weeks, Daniels was named the starter over incumbents Matt Fink and Jack Sears,[12] making him the second true freshman in school history to start a season opener. In his true freshman year, Daniels passed for 2,672 yards, 14 touchdowns, and ten interceptions in 11 games, missing just one game due to concussion. The Trojans went 5–7 for the season.[13][14]

2019 season

In 2019, he won the starting job over Fink, Sears, and Kedon Slovis.[14] During the season opener against Fresno State, he tore his ACL during a sack in the second quarter; at the time of the injury, he had completed 25 of 34 passes for 215 yards, a touchdown, and an interception. Daniels was eventually ruled out for the remainder of the year and Slovis was named the starting quarterback.[15][16]

Following the emergence of Kedon Slovis, USC head coach Clay Helton announced that Daniels entered his name in the NCAA transfer portal on April 16, 2020.[17]


Daniels throws the ball against Clemson in 2021

2020 season

On May 28, 2020, Daniels announced that he would be transferring to the University of Georgia. Daniels was granted immediate eligibility to play by the NCAA on July 13, 2020.[18] Going into the 2020 season, Daniels competed with Jamie Newman, D'Wan Mathis, Stetson Bennett, and Carson Beck for the starting job. On September 2, 2020, Newman announced he would opt-out of the 2020 season due to COVID-19 concerns and begin to prepare for the 2021 NFL Draft, leaving Daniels to compete with Mathis, Bennett and Beck. Ultimately, D'Wan Mathis was named the starting quarterback for the season-opener against Arkansas. Daniels was cleared to play by the team doctors, but not his personal doctor, so he said he wouldn’t play. Still, Coach Kirby Smart named Daniels the backup quarterback behind Stetson Bennett, who replaced Mathis due to poor play against Arkansas. Daniels was named the starting quarterback in the game against Mississippi State after Bennett sustained a shoulder injury against Florida.

On November 21, 2020, Daniels made his first start and appearance with Georgia against Mississippi State and went 28-of-38 for 401 passing yards with 4 touchdowns in the 31–24 win. Following that game, Daniels was named the starter for the remainder of the season. Daniels led the Bulldogs to the Peach Bowl, where he went 26-of-38 for 392 passing yards with one touchdown and one interception in the 24–21 win. The Bulldogs went 4–0 in Daniels' four starts and Daniels finished the season with 80 passing completions out of 119 attempts for 1,231 passing yards with 10 touchdowns and 2 interceptions.

2021 season

Beginning the 2021 season, JT Daniels was the clear frontrunner for starting quarterback, with Stetson Bennett as backup. In the season opener against Clemson, Daniels threw 22-for-30 with 135 yards, with no touchdowns and one interception. Following Georgia's victory, Daniels was sidelined with an oblique injury, leaving Bennett as the starter for an indefinite period.[19] Daniels returned two weeks later against South Carolina and threw 23-for-31 with 303 yards, and two touchdowns and one interception. Daniels started a week later on September 25 against Vanderbilt and threw 9-for-10 with two touchdowns for 129 yards, but was replaced by Bennett. Daniels did not return until November 6 against Missouri; however, he only appeared briefly in relief of a struggling Bennett, throwing 7-of-11 for 82 yards with a touchdown and an interception. Daniels' last appearance came against Charleston Southern on November 20 during senior day (the last home game of the season), and threw 7-for-12, gaining 73 yards and a touchdown during his brief stint.[20]

Despite a poor performance by Bennett in the SEC championship game against Alabama with two interceptions, coach Kirby Smart remained confident in Bennett's abilities for the remainder of the season. Following Georgia's national championship and Bennett's affirmation to play out his final season of eligibility in 2022, Daniels entered the NCAA transfer portal.

West Virginia

On April 13, 2022, Daniels announced his intention to transfer to West Virginia University.[21] He was benched midseason in favor of Garrett Greene. On December 5, Daniels entered the transfer portal.


On December 20, 2022, Daniels announced his intention to transfer to Rice University, his fourth program in his six-year collegiate career.[22]

Daniels led the Rice Owls football team to a 43-41 victory in 2OT in the Bayou Bucket Classic, throwing a career-high 401 yards and 3 touchdowns.[23]


On December 1, 2023, Daniels medically retired from football, after sustaining multiple concussions during his career.[24][25][26]

College statistics

Season Games Passing Rushing
GP GS Record Cmp Att Pct Yds Avg TD Int Rtg Att Yds Avg TD
USC Trojans
2018 11 11 5−6 216 363 59.5 2,672 7.4 14 10 128.6 45 −149 −3.3 0
2019 1 1 1−0 25 34 73.5 215 6.3 1 1 130.5 3 −6 −2.0 0
Georgia Bulldogs
2020 4 4 4−0 80 119 67.2 1,231 10.3 10 2 178.5 10 −71 −7.1 0
2021 6 3 3−0 68 94 72.3 722 7.7 7 3 155.1 4 −18 −4.5 0
West Virginia Mountaineers
2022 10 10 4−6 200 327 61.2 2,107 6.4 13 9 122.9 30 −51 −1.7 1
Rice Owls
2023 7 7 4−4 155 243 63.8 2,173 8.9 17 5 157.9 19 −59 −3.1 1
Career 39 36 21−15 744 1,180 63.1 9,120 7.7 62 30 140.2 111 −354 −3.2 2


  1. ^ Emerson, Seth. "'An old soul': Georgia QB JT Daniels and the mother who shaped him". The Athletic. Retrieved March 11, 2023.
  2. ^ Sherman, Mitch (February 9, 2017). "The next great QB prospect might just be JT Daniels". ESPN. Retrieved August 30, 2018.
  3. ^ Fryer, Steve (December 22, 2017). "Mater Dei quarterback JT Daniels confirms plan to leave school and enroll early at USC". Press-Telegram. Retrieved August 30, 2018.
  4. ^ Piellucci, Mike (August 17, 2018). "The Next Great USC QB Shouldn't Even Be in College". The Ringer. Retrieved August 30, 2018.
  5. ^ Greene, Dan (July 17, 2018). "JT Daniels Becomes First to Win Gatorade Male Athlete of the Year Award After Junior Season". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved August 30, 2018.
  6. ^ Albano, Dan (December 19, 2017). "Mater Dei quarterback JT Daniels named Gatorade National Player of the Year". OC Register. Retrieved August 30, 2018.
  7. ^ Sondheimer, Eric (December 27, 2017). "Player of the year JT Daniels heads Times' 2017 prep football all-star team". LA Times. Retrieved August 30, 2018.
  8. ^ Poff, Zack (December 24, 2017). "Final 2017 MaxPreps Top 25 high school football rankings". MaxPreps.com. Retrieved August 30, 2018.
  9. ^ "JT Daniels, Pro-style quarterback". Rivals.com. Retrieved August 30, 2018.
  10. ^ Albano, Dan (July 30, 2017). "Mater Dei quarterback JT Daniels commits to USC". OC Register. Retrieved August 30, 2018.
  11. ^ Bonagura, Kyle (December 22, 2017). "USC QB recruit JT Daniels graduating early to play next season". ESPN. Retrieved August 30, 2018.
  12. ^ Kercheval, Ben (August 27, 2018). "USC names star freshman JT Daniels its starting quarterback: Three things to know". CBSSports.com. Retrieved August 30, 2018.
  13. ^ Trevino, Chris (August 31, 2019). "USC QB JT Daniels carted off the field against Fresno State". 247Sports.com. Retrieved September 1, 2019.
  14. ^ a b Abdeldaim, Alaa (August 20, 2019). "JT Daniels Named USC's Starting Quarterback". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved September 1, 2019.
  15. ^ Kercheval, Ben; Sallee, Barrett (September 1, 2019). "USC quarterback JT Daniels out for season with torn ACL and meniscus, a report says". CBSSports.com. Retrieved September 1, 2019.
  16. ^ Kartje, Ryan (September 8, 2019). "USC makes the AP top 25 rankings after Kedon Slovis' big game in win over Stanford". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved September 16, 2019.
  17. ^ "USC quarterback Daniels to enter transfer portal". ESPN.com. April 16, 2020. Retrieved April 17, 2020.
  18. ^ Towers, Chip. "NCAA approves QB J.T. Daniels' eligibility at Georgia". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. ISSN 1539-7459. Retrieved November 13, 2021.
  19. ^ Austin, Brooks (September 8, 2021). "Sources: JT Daniels Dealing With An Injury". Sports Illustrated Georgia Bulldogs News, Analysis and More. Retrieved January 20, 2022.
  20. ^ "JT Daniels Stats, News, Bio". ESPN. Retrieved January 20, 2022.
  21. ^ "JT Daniels transferring to play college football at West Virginia after running from stints at USC, Georgia". ESPN.com. April 13, 2021.
  22. ^ "Sources: Daniels picks Rice as 4th college stop". ESPN.com. December 21, 2022. Retrieved December 21, 2022.
  23. ^ "Daniels passes for 401 yards, Rice stuns Houston in double OT, 43-41". AP News. September 10, 2023. Retrieved September 14, 2023.
  24. ^ "Rice QB JT Daniels to medically retire from football". 247Sports.com. December 1, 2023.
  25. ^ "Ex-USC, Georgia QB JT Daniels Retires from Football Due to Concussion History". Syndication.BleacherReport.com. December 1, 2023.
  26. ^ "BREAKING: Former Bulldogs Quarterback JT Daniels Medically Retires From Football". SI.com. December 1, 2023.
  • USC Trojans bio
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Georgia Bulldogs starting quarterbacks
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West Virginia Mountaineers starting quarterbacks
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Rice Owls starting quarterbacks
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Gatorade High School Athlete of the Year Award
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Gatorade High School Football Player of the Year Award
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2021 Georgia Bulldogs football—consensus national champions