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Rice QB JT Daniels medically retires from football

Daniels officially concludes his college football playing career after four stops in six years.

Rice v Texas Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images

Four destinations. Six years. Three transfers. 40 games. 38 starts.

An eventful college football playing career officially concluded. Rice quarterback JT Daniels medically retired from football Friday, putting the wraps on a college tenure which featured stops at USC, Georgia, West Virginia, and Rice.

Daniels suffered a concussion in the second quarter of Rice’s Week 10 contest against SMU and missed the final three contests of the regular season. He was honored during the Owls’ Senior Day, but he will not extend his playing career through Rice’s upcoming bowl game.

“I was thrilled when JT decided to come to Rice this season,” Rice head coach Mike Bloomgren said in a statement. “There is no doubt we would not have the Bayou Bucket in our office or be preparing for a bowl game without his performance on the field or his leadership as a team captain. Knowing how much he loves the game, this was not an easy decision for JT to make, but nothing is more important than your health. We wish him the best as he embarks on the next phase of his life and he will always be a Rice Owl.”

Daniels committed to Rice last December in a recruitment which was eight years in the making. During his offensive coordinator stint at Stanford which lasted through 2017, Bloomgren became acquainted with Daniels and attempted to lure him to Palo Alto, CA. The 5-star quarterback from Mater Dei High School originally committed to USC. He transferred to Georgia prior to the 2020 season and was the initial starter for the Bulldogs’ 2021 national championship run. After a brief stint at West Virginia in 2022, Bloomgren finally sold Daniels to his program.

The well-traveled quarterback played some of his best football at Rice. In nine starts, he threw for 2,443 yards, a career-high 21 touchdowns, and completed 63 percent of passes. Daniels fired for 340 yards on four separate occasions with the Owls, peaking in the AAC opener with a career-high 432 passing yards against South Florida. He fire multiple touchdown strikes in all but one game, and his final collegiate throw was 14-yard touchdown pass to running back Dean Connors on Nov. 14.

According to ESPN’s Pete Thamel, Daniels expressed interest in joining the realm of coaching. The quarterback consistently received high praise from his teammates for his vast knowledge of the game. He finishes a six-year college career with 9,390 passing yards and 66 passing touchdowns.

Rice will find out its bowl destination Sunday, although Daniels will not participate in the postseason contest.