Jalon Daniels brings optimism and ‘smiles’ to KU football

Kansas Jayhawks

LAWRENCE, Kan. (KSNT) – Kansas Jayhawk quarterback Jalon Daniels just turned 18 years old, but he’s already taken the reins of the Kanas offense this season and moving forward. He thinks this will be the class that turns the corner and the coaching staff has the faith in him too.

“Jalon Daniels is maturing every week. We’re getting him into a position to make him be our leader or help him be our leader,” head coach Les Miles said.

Daniels may be the youngest starting quarterback in the Big 12, but he’s delivered more hopes in the Jayhawks future than anyone else.

“I always wanted to be the guy to turn around a program , I feel like I have a chance to do that with my teammates here,” Daniels said.

Before he stepped on campus, he felt the coaches wanted him to be that guy, especially offensive coordinator Brent Dearmon.

“I feel like he’s always had faith in me, and I feel like coach Miles has always had faith in me, so I made the decision to come here,” Daniels said.

Once in Lawrence, he bonded with his classmates while earning older Jayhawks respect.

“As a freshman quarterback, you have to have that connection with the team, I’ve always had connection with the freshman, that eventually build towards all the veteran guys, I started gaining respect,” Daniels said.

Les Miles sees that.

“His leadership on a daily basis, wherever we practice or whatever we’re going, is exactly what you’d want, taking hard work on with a smile on his face, and enjoying it, that’s the way it’s supposed to be,” Miles said.

More wins bring more smiles and Daniels knows he has a lot more to accomplish, even just throwing his first touchdown, he thinks those will come as his confidence solidifies.

“As a freshman quarterback, you always have that thought in your mind, ‘don’t make that mistake’, when I come to the sideline, coach dearmon usually just tells me to pull the trigger,” Daniels said.

But it’s hard to find a player and class that amplifies the often repeated phrase in Lawrence: the Jayhawks are coming.

“I feel like we’re going to do a lot of big things, we’ve got a lot of big things coming our way. Almost everybody in this class has thought about or talked about, that’s just the goal for us and also the goal for coach Miles,” Daniels said.

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