T’Rod Daniels has only 21 rushing attempts for Southern Miss this season, but the junior makes the most of his touches, averaging 7.6 yards per carry.
The Bassfield product broke free for his second touchdown of the year against Charlotte, a 53-yard scamper, and Daniels smiled the entire way as he waltzed into the end zone.
“I always smile, though,” Daniels said. “That's what I do best. They say if you smile you'll live longer. I ain't been playing so I had to make it count. When you get your time, do something with it."
"He's probably got the unfortunate pleasure of knowing Ito Smith's in the lineup,” said USM head coach Jay Hopson. “There's nothing you can really do about that. But T'Rod's a guy that we know is explosive and he's a talented player."
One can certainly see the potential in Daniels. The 5-foot-9 transfer joined USM after rushing for 765 yards at Mississippi Gulf Coast in 2016.
If football doesn’t work out for Daniels. he has a backup plan.
"That's my first dream, I'm a comedian,” Daniels said. “I’m just playing football in case it does work but I got a couple backup plans. I’m really a comedian, I’m like a Martin Lawrence. Get my own show. I've been trying to go viral but I don't have time. I don't have time to think of nothing."
"I think he used to always say that's what he was going to do for a living was be a stand-up comic,” said Jefferson Davis football coach Lance Mancuso, who coached Daniels at Bassfield High. “He definitely doesn't have to work at that, he's got a great personality. We're just proud of him and he just continues to make a lot of people just kinda shake their head."
What’s no joke is Daniels’ speed. The city of Bassfield has known about it for quite some time and now Hattiesburg is becoming aware.
"Some man had told me, ‘You still got that speed?’ Daniels said. “I was like, ‘Oh it ain't going nowhere.’”