The voice of and for USM students


The voice of and for USM students


The voice of and for USM students


Southern Miss football player Marcus “MJ” Daniels fatally shot

Southern Miss Athletics

Southern Miss football player Marcus “MJ” Daniels Jr. was killed Tuesday evening after being shot in his car at the Ivy Row Apartment Complex in Hattiesburg. The 21-year-old was pronounced dead on the scene, and his body was sent to a medical examiner for an autopsy. Hattiesburg Police is currently investigating his death.  

Daniels was a starting cornerback for Southern Miss last season after transferring from Ole Miss. The 6-foot-2, 195-pound senior had 28 tackles, three interceptions, and two forced fumbles last season. He moved to safety for the 2024 season, was expected to start, and played a huge role in the Golden Eagles’ defense.  

“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,” Southern Miss Athletics said, per release. “We send our sincere condolences to his family, friends and teammates during this difficult time.” 

Daniels, a George County alum from Lucedale, Mississippi, was named a four-star prospect after graduating from George County High School.  

 “We are deeply saddened by the loss of MJ Daniels,” Southern Miss head football coach Will Hall said. “His smile was infectious and lit up the room. Please keep MJ’s loved ones and our Southern Miss family in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.”   

The players on the team always referred to Daniels as having one of the best smiles in the room, and they joined in the mourning on their various social media platforms.  

“My heart is broken,” Southern Miss starting quarterback Billy Wiles said. “MJ never failed to put a smile on my face, even on the worst days. He was a great player and leader, but more importantly a great teammate and friend. You will be missed by everybody that knew you. Love you, rest in peace.”   

Marcus “MJ” Daniels Jr. (11) celebrating with his team during the 2023 football season – Jackson Kennedy

Several college football teams expressed condolences to the Southern Miss football program, including Ole Miss football where Daniel’s had previously played.  

The Hattiesburg Police has issued a statement asking the community for any information regarding the incident and said they will investigate the matter thoroughly.  

“We are asking the community for their help and to come forward with any information pertaining to this tragic incident and the untimely death of Marcus Daniels,” the statement said. “We will share as much information as possible without jeopardizing the investigation. We are working closely with the university and local officials.” 

Anyone with information regarding the incident is asked to call Hattiesburg police at (601) 545-4971 or Metro Crime Stoppers by dialing **Tips. Anonymous tips also can be submitted at 

Crime Stoppers offers cash rewards for information leading to felony arrests. 

Follow Dima Mixon (@dima_mixon) for continued coverage of Southern Miss athletics.

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