Southern Miss defensive back MJ Daniels died Tuesday night as the result of an off-campus shooting, the university announced. The school released a statement on social media expressing "sincere condolences to his family, friends and teammates during this difficult time."

The shooting occurred at roughly 9 p.m. Tuesday in the 6300 block of U.S. 49, a Hattiesburg, Mississippi police official told the Pine Belt News. That location is less than a mile from Southern Miss' M.M. Roberts Stadium. 

Daniels was a projected starter for the Golden Eagles entering his second season with the program. The 6-foot-2 Daniels totaled 29 tackles with four pass deflections and three interceptions 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.

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.

Southern Miss is making counseling services available to members of the football program.