ESPN's Jalon Daniels prediction will have Kansas Jayhawks fans fired up for football season

Is Kansas football's star quarterback slated for a monster 2024 campaign?
Missouri State v Kansas
Missouri State v Kansas / Ed Zurga/GettyImages

Kansas football is entering the 2024 campaign with some of the highest expectations in program history. HC Lance Leipold led the Jayhawks to an excellent season one year ago, as the team finished 9-4 with a win in the Guaranteed Rate Bowl. KU is expected to compete for a Big 12 Championship heading into Leipold's fourth year at the helm.

While Jason Bean was an excellent fill-in under center for Kansas last year, Jayhawk fans have awaited the return of star QB Jalon Daniels for quite some time. An injury-riddled 2023 season held the redshirt junior to three games. Now that his back injury has reportedly healed, many college football fans believe he will return to his initial form next year. ESPN's Greg McElroy listed Daniels as one of the two Big 12 players who should have massive rebound seasons.

ESPN analyst predicts bounce-back season for Kansas football QB Jalon Daniels

"When Jalon Daniels is on his game, few players in the sport are as exciting and as much (fun) to watch as him. He's a tremendous athlete, and I think if you watch, granted, the games that he played last year aren't always against top-tier competition, but he played against BYU, and he played against Illinois. Illinois had a pretty good defense, but he chopped them up from start to finish in that game."

Greg McElroy, ESPN

Once an early candidate to win the Heisman Trophy, Daniels has an opportunity to prove the doubters wrong this year. McElroy and many others believe the dynamic gunslinger will bounce back in a huge fashion in 2024. 

Daniels did not see the field often last year, but he was impressive in the few games he did. Over the past two seasons, the California native has thrown for 2,719 yards, 23 TDs, and five interceptions across 12 contests. Kansas was 3-0 in the games he appeared in last year, holding victories over Illinois, Nevada, and BYU. Bean and true freshman Cole Ballard started the other games at QB for the Jayhawks.

Staying healthy has been an issue for Daniels since he arrived in Lawrence four years ago. He took over as a starter in 2021 after Bean went down with an injury and earned himself the full-time job after leading KU to a memorable upset victory over Texas on the road. Ironically, Bean replaced Daniels one year later when he went down with a shoulder injury and did the same this past season while he dealt with a back ailment.

There is no denying how talented Daniels is when the ball comes out of his hands. He can make plays that very few QBs in the country can make. However, it is only a matter of time until Kansas football fans find out whether the face of the program can finally avoid injuries.