LSU quarterback Jayden Daniels could have joined the multitude of players who have already declared for the 2023 NFL Draft. Instead, the junior quarterback announced earlier this month that he will return to LSU for the 2023 season.

Daniels considered all options regarding the future of his football career, and in the end, there were two factors that convinced him that it was best to return to the Tigers for what will be his senior campaign.

“I took my time on evaluating and gathering information,” Daniels said during a press conference on Saturday ahead of the 2023 Citrus Bowl. “But ultimately, it was the best decision for me to come back and accomplish things in college I feel like I need to grow on.

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“I feel like I have unfinished business at college, so I wanted to come back and compete for a national championship.”

LSU was in the College Football Playoff mix late in the regular season, but the losses to Texas A&M and also to Georgia in the SEC title game put an end to any aspirations that the Tigers had of finishing in the top four of this year's final CFP rankings.

Overall, Daniels recorded 19 total touchdowns against SEC opponents this season. He came away with plenty of takeaways from his first year playing in the SEC.

“What I take for next season, really the growth that I had this past season,” Daniels said. “I had so much more football that I needed to learn that I thought I didn't, so there is another level that I can tap into as far as growth.

“But really just the competition, going out, actually playing in the SEC instead of just watching it on TV. It's a different level. So you guys know that each and every week is going to be a grind — each and every week in the offseason, you have to treat it the same way.”

There was some concern that Daniels would not be cleared to play in the Citrus Bowl, as he came away from the SEC title game with a nagging ankle injury. However, the versatile passer is now healthy and ready to go for the clash with Purdue.

“Sure, I rehabbed hard after the SEC Championship Game, going out there — just really hitting hard with the trainers — out there about two times a day, so I can get back to 100 percent before this game,” Daniels said.

LSU is looking to cap off the campaign with 10 wins.