Mississippi State freshman football player Keith Joseph Jr. and his father Keith Joseph Sr. died in a one-car accident on Friday night en route to a Pascagoula High School football game, the university announced on Friday.
Joseph Sr. was a linebacker for the Bulldogs from 1989 to 1992. His 14 sacks put him at 10th on the school’s all-time list.
Joseph Jr. signed with the Bulldogs in February 2014 and was redshirting this season.
“It was a big factor,” Joseph Jr. told The Clarion-Ledger in June 2014 when asked about his father’s influence on his decision. “He’s been through everything I’m going through now. He’s played a big roll in my recruiting process, all of my skills. He really helped me find my way."
Mississippi State head coach Dan Mullen expressed his sentiments in the university’s press release.
“We are deeply saddened and heartbroken by the tragic loss of Keith Jr. and his father,” Mullen said in a statement. “Keith had such a promising future as a Bulldog following in the legacy started by Keith Sr., who played for our program 25 years ago. Keith was a great student, a hard worker and a great teammate to all of us. With heavy hearts, our thoughts and prayers go out to the Joseph family, our entire Mississippi State community and all of the lives these Bulldogs touched.”
Athletic director Scott Stricklin posted the following statement on his Twitter account:
Funeral arrangements are pending. Mississippi State defeated Missouri 31–13 on Thursday night.
- Christopher Chavez