MJ Daniels, Southern Miss
(CBS Sports/Screengrab)

Southern Mississippi Defensive Back Killed In Shooting

Southern Mississippi defensive back Marcus "MJ" Daniels was shot to death Tuesday night at an apartment complex in Hattiesburg, not far from the school, authorities said. Daniels was 21.

"The University of Southern Mississippi and the Department of Athletics mourn the loss of M.J. Daniels, whose life was lost Tuesday evening during an incident that occurred off campus," a statement from USM read. "We send our sincere condolences to his family, friends and teammates during this difficult time."

The shooting took place about 9 p.m. locally Tuesday evening, per the Pine Belt News. The location was less than a mile from the Southern Miss football stadium.

Daniels started 12 games this past season. He totaled 29 tackles and three interceptions with the Golden Eagles in 2023.

"With a rangy frame, Daniels logged most of his snaps as a boundary corner for the Golden Eagles in 2023. He was expected to slide over to safety and serve as a key cog in the team's 2024 secondary. Originally from Lucedale, Mississippi, Daniels ranked as a four-star prospect in the Class of 2021," wrote David Cobb of CBS Sports.

"After struggling to find playing time at Ole Miss as a freshman, Daniels transferred to Southern Miss, which is roughly an hour from his hometown. Daniels was a multi-sport athlete at George County High School and held offers from SEC programs such as Mississippi State, Georgia, Texas A&M and Auburn."

An investigation is ongoing, authorities said, with Daniels' body being sent to the state crime lab in Jackson for an autopsy. The death is being investigated as a homicide, reports suggest.

Southern Mississippi helmet