Rice University’s Student Newspaper — Since 1916

Monday, June 17, 2024 — Houston, TX

Quarterback JT Daniels announces medical retirement

img-1092

Rice quarterback JT Daniels stands with teammates at Rice Stadium during the Bayou Bucket against the University of Houston Sept. 9. Daniels announced his medical retirement Dec. 1. Francesca Nemati / Thresher

By Pavithr Goli and Andersen Pickard     12/1/23 5:58pm

Rice Football quarterback JT Daniels is medically retiring after suffering multiple concussions, according to a report from Pete Thamel of ESPN.

Daniels, who played his last game Nov. 4 against Southern Methodist University, told ESPN he made the decision in conjunction with his doctors. His retirement begins immediately, meaning Daniels is unable to play in the Owls’ bowl game later this month. 

Freshman quarterback AJ Padgett has started in Daniels’ place since Nov. 11 and will lead the Owls in their bowl game, assistant athletic director for media relations Chuck Pool told the Thresher.



Daniels started nine games for the Owls this season, helping them to a 6-6 regular season record and leading the squad to their second-straight bowl-game appearance. In 2023, his lone season with Rice after transferring in December 2022, Daniels completed 63.1 percent of passes for 2,443 yards, 21 passing touchdowns and seven interceptions. 

One of Daniels’ top stretches at Rice was three games from Sept. 9 to Sept. 23 during which he threw for 1,088 yards, 10 touchdowns and one interception. The Owls won twice during that span, including an overtime thriller against the University of Houston in the Bayou Bucket. Two weeks later against the University of South Florida, Daniels set a career high with 432 passing yards.

A California native, Daniels had a storied NCAA voyage. After several of his seasons were cut short by injuries and the COVID-19 pandemic, he ultimately played for four teams over six years. A former five-star recruit, Daniels retires with a stat line that includes 41 collegiate games, 66 passing touchdowns, 32 interceptions, a 62.9 percent completion rate and a 139.9 passer efficiency rating. He also won a national championship with the University of Georgia during the 2022 season.

Daniels’ connection with Rice Football head coach Mike Bloomgren extends back to the quarterback’s freshman year of high school, when he attended a camp hosted by Stanford University. At the time, Bloomgren was Stanford’s offensive coordinator. In 2017, Stanford formally offered Daniels a spot on the team, but he ultimately chose to attend the University of Southern California. 

Bloomgren tried to bring Daniels to Rice multiple times, including before his transfer to the University of West Virginia in 2022, the Thresher previously reported. “[I’ve] recruited him since he was 14 or 15, since he was a ninth grader at Mater Dei, and built a great relationship [with him],” Bloomgren said at the time, adding that he frequently texted the quarterback when the NCAA rules allowed him to do so.

According to Thamel, Daniels now intends to pursue coaching. Several people — including Bloomgren — have praised Daniels’ intelligence on the football field.



More from The Rice Thresher

NEWS 6/5/24 7:37pm
NOD permanently canceled, Rice strips away-decades old campus tradition

After 50 years of decadence, Wiess College’s infamous underwear party is no more.  Born in the early 1970s after a group of Wiess students poured all their alcohol into a bathtub — creating a brew “so potent it removed the varnish” — Night of Decadence has spent years in the national eye. Allegedly recognized as one of Playboy’s top college parties in the nation, NOD has also been subject to mounting scrutiny over alcohol use and an “explicitly dangerous and sexual atmosphere.” Rice has now permanently canceled the public, Dean of Undergraduates Bridget Gorman and Wiess magister Flavio Cunha announced in a message to campus June 5.

NEWS 5/24/24 11:48am
Rice Mutual Aid partners with student organizations to fundraise for Gaza

Rice Mutual Aid launched a fundraising campaign for Gaza on May 13 in partnership with 15 other student organizations at Rice, including Rice Students for Justice in Palestine, Rice Pride, the Hispanic Association for Cultural Enrichment at Rice and the Rice Muslim Student Association. RMA will direct donations towards American Near East Refugee Aid, a non-governmental organization that provides humanitarian aid and emergency relief in Palestine, Lebanon and Jordan. A day after its launch, the campaign raised over $2,000 according to RMA’s Instagram.

NEWS 5/19/24 8:57pm
Jones School breaks ground on new expansion, final project to wrap up spring 2026

The Jones Graduate School of Business will expand its building, constructing an additional 95,000 square feet around McNair Hall. Rice Business announced blueprint plans for the new $54.5 million building at its groundbreaking May 9. The new building will include multiple large classrooms, lecture halls, dining facilities, event spaces and communal areas, designed to “blend seamlessly with the campus and its surroundings.”


Comments

Please note All comments are eligible for publication by The Rice Thresher.