Kansas QB Jalon Daniels says he will return to Jayhawks next season

Kansas quarterback Jalon Daniels throws during the first half of an NCAA college football game against BYU Saturday, Sept. 23, 2023, in Lawrence, Kan. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
Kansas quarterback Jalon Daniels, the Preseason Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year, has missed most of the season due to a back injury. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Jalon Daniels says he will be back at Kansas next season.

Daniels has started games at quarterback for the Jayhawks across the last four seasons but has been limited to only three games this year due to a back injury. Daniels, who was voted the Preseason Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year, missed the season opener and then was abruptly ruled out after aggravating the injury before Kansas’ Sept. 30 game at Texas.

He has not played since and speculation has swirled about Daniels’ future plans. Would he enter the transfer portal? Would he enter the NFL Draft? As it turns out, it will be neither.

Daniels announced Thursday he plans to return for his fifth-year senior season. Because he has only played in three games, he can be granted a redshirt.

“I’m going to be blunt. This season didn’t go as planned, but life comes at you fast and sometimes your story is out of your control. But I guess that just means I have unfinished business,” Daniels said in a video posted on social media. “My dreams haven’t changed. My goals are still there and my vision for my future is clear. I’m not done yet and I’m not going anywhere. Rock Chalk.”

Daniels also released a statement through Kansas Athletics announcing his return.

Daniels has played a key role in Kansas' revival under coach Lance Leipold. Before Leipold's arrival, Kansas hadn't had a season with more than three wins since 2009. The Jayhawks went 2-10 in his first season and are a combined 13-10 (7-9 Big 12) in the last two seasons. Leipold could be a hot name in the upcoming coaching carousel.

Before the injury, Daniels threw for 705 yards and five touchdowns with only one interception while completing 74.7% of his attempts. For his career, Daniels has thrown for 4,297 yards and 31 touchdowns with 12 interceptions. He has also rushed for 600 yards and 13 scores during his time at KU.

Kansas is currently 7-3 on the season and ranked No. 25 in the College Football Playoff rankings. Without Daniels, the Jayhawks have gone 3-3 with veteran backup Jason Bean at quarterback.

Bean was injured during last week’s loss to Texas Tech, which could force freshman walk-on Cole Ballard to make his first start this weekend versus rival Kansas State. Ballard went 9-of-20 for 124 yards in relief of Bean versus TTU.