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Derek Stingley Commitment Watch

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Will the Baton Rouge corner stay home?

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There’s been no shortage of elite recruits passing through the Charles McClendon practice facility in the past decade. Even now, in the midst of a mild roster rebuild, five star talents line up on the defensive line, at defensive back, at receiver, and players not far off at linebacker and offensive line. These are the spoils of a successful program, which can often force lost perspective. Suddenly, your top 50 signees don’t garner as much excitement. Loading up on four-stars is okay, but holy hell did you see what Ohio State, Georgia and Alabama did? So it’s important that when the opportunity comes to ink one of the very best prospects in the nation that we stop and appreciate that moment.

In 2014, Leonard Fournette (247 composite No. 1 overall) and Cameron Robinson (247 composition no. 4 overall) made a bit of history as perhaps the highest ranked pair of Louisiana athletes... ever. It felt like a shooting star. A pair of special prospects that Louisiana would never see the likes of again. Now here, just five signing classes later, Louisiana puts forward a pair of prospects that may rival their ability, though not quite the acclaim. Perhaps none will ever rival the mythology that preceded Leonard Fournette, but there’s an opportunity for Ishmael Sopsher (247 composite No. 3 overall) and Derek Stingley (247 composite No. 15 overall) to outdo his on field impact.

Later today, Derek Stingley will announce his college choice of the future.

You may remember that just two years ago, in this very same month, Stingley gave a verbal pledge to LSU. The Baton Rouge native welcomed offers from all across the country and ultimately made the decision to de-commit in April of last year. Stingley went quietly about his business. He unofficially visited once during last season. He did interviews and talked up his continued close relationship with Corey Raymond. He named LSU, along with Florida, Stanford, Michigan, Texas and Georgia as his leaders. He took an unofficial to Florida and then another unofficial back to LSU. He named a top three of LSU, Florida and Texas and opted to take official visits to both Florida and Texas.

Yet the crystal ball points 100% LSU. Insiders across the country agree that Stingley is staying home, committing to LSU later today and signing in December. And that’s a very good thing.

You may remember similar confidence surrounding last year’s stud CB du jour, Patrick Surtain Jr. While Surtain Jr. did have deep ties to the state of Louisiana, he lived in Florida and his recruitment leading up signing day started to leave more unanswered questions about him potentially waffling on a decision that seemed iron clad at moments throughout the process. Stingley comes without the reservations.

It’s important, in large part, because of Surtain’s decision. LSU is decidedly thin at corner and if the staff could find someway to get Stingley eligible for the 2018 season after his verbal commitment... well, they would. It may sound outlandish, but Stingley is a ready-made college player. At nearly 6-foot-1 and 193 pounds, he’s sizes up well. But it’s not just his physique that grabs your attention. The Opening Finals haven’t yet occurred, but Stingley turned in the third-best performance nationally of any athlete at his Opening Regional. Here’s his testing numbers:

40: 4.3 (1st nationally)
SH: 4.28
Powerball: 43.5 feet
Vertical Jump: 42 inches

These numbers put him among elite company in terms of his pure athletic talents. When you are talking about pure athletes to take the field in Baton Rouge... Stingley will rank with guys like Patrick Peterson, Leonard Fournette, and Donte Jackson in the freak tier. Okay, but can he ball?

First, let’s address the obvious: Dunham plays 2A football and it very much shows. Stingley is simply a cut above any other athlete on the field. Thus, much of his highlight tape looks like everyone else is playing in slow motion while Stingley is an ever-present force. Smartly, coach Neil Weiner typically sticks Stingley back deep and let’s him use his athleticism to roam and make plays over the top.

But the tape also shows that Stingley is aggressive and instinctive as a corner. He makes breaks on the football that you see from top-tier corners across the country. Sometimes he zips into frame so forcefully that a player looking wide open is swallowed and triumphed in mere moments. This is perhaps what sets Stingley apart amongst his peers. Physically, he features the tools to stand up as any type of corner Dave Aranda may ask. He’s big enough to play outside and press. He’s athletic enough to slot at nickel and raise hell. He can play over the top. He can flip open his hips and run stride for stride with any receiver in the country. He can also come up and deliver a blow if called upon. Stingley is the all-everything create a player in the NCAA Football video game.

So yes, expect good news. But more importantly, expect a great player. Hit pause and enjoy this rare athlete, from Baton Rouge, opting to play for the home team. Players like Stingley are once in a lifetime even if we somehow make it a habit of not feeling like it in Baton Rouge. Tomorrow is just the start of future of unlimited potential.

Derek Stingley is the latest heir to the DBU Throne.