J.T Daniels to take on new challenge as Rice quarterback

J.T. Daniels, one of the most well-traveled players in college football history, is moving to a fourth school and a fourth conference. Initially the No. 1 quarterback recruit coming out of Mater Dei High School in 2019, the former National Gatorade Player of the Year and USC Trojan will conclude his collegiate career at Rice University.

Rice coach Mike Bloomgren recruited Daniels when the former was the offensive coordinator at Stanford and the latter a five-star recruit who chose USC.

Daniels was the Trojans’ season-opening quarterback as a true freshman in 2018 and started 11 games. He tore an ACL and a meniscus in the 2019 opener, losing his job to Kedon Slovis (who now plays for BYU). Injuries would sideline him again until late in the 2020 season when he was with Georgia. He started four games for the 2021 national champion Bulldogs before losing his job to Stetson Bennett.

Daniels then transferred to West Virginia, where he had the most playing time (10 starts) since his freshman year at USC. Daniels struggled during his lone season at West Virginia. While Daniels tried to build a rapport with former USC offensive coordinator Graham Harrell, the two never seemed to be on the same page in Morgantown.

What will J.T Daniels do in his senior season at Rice in 2023?

The Rice Owls open the season on September 2 against the in-state rival Texas Longhorns and will need their offense to keep up with the preseason Big 12 favorites.

Daniels still possesses immense arm talent and big-game experience that could help a Rice team that finished 5-8 in the 2022 season.

Expect lots of points in every game for the Owls in 2023. Offensive coordinator Marques Tuiasosopo had them going in the right direction in 2022, averaging 25.2 points per game, which was 3.9 points higher than in 2021.

In 10 games, Rice receiver Luke McCaffrey caught a team-high 58 passes for 723 yards and six TDs. He finished with three 100-plus receiving yard games and totaled double-digit catches twice.

The main star at wideout was Bradley Rozner, who led the Owls in receiving yards (876) and touchdowns (10) while totaling 44 catches.

Cedric Patterson III, formerly at New Mexico, had a season-ending ankle injury. Before that, in two seasons with the Lobos, he averaged 18.8 yards per reception. During the 2021 campaign, Patterson averaged 15.3 yards and totaled six TDs.

With the addition of an established quarterback, Rice may be one of college football’s dark horses that garners national attention come mid-November. For now, it’s about starting off on the right foot against the Longhorns.

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Story originally appeared on Trojans Wire