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Better Know a Freshman: Derek Stingley Jr.

Stud cornerback recruit looks primed to start quickly.

Student Sports Flickr

Often imitated, never duplicated. The “DBU” moniker has found its way to a number of teams across the country attempting to create something that is not truly there. It only resides in their minds, knowing full well that there is one university that can stake the true claim to that throne and it resides in Baton Rouge. The secondary has been an LSU strong suit for over a decade, retooling each and every time someone departs. This year is no different. Greedy Williams is up in the NFL with a revitalized Cleveland Browns team, leaving a spot open. Insert Derek Stingley Jr.

The Story

The top-tier cornerback was one of the earliest initial commits for the 2019 class, first committing back in June of 2016, the same day he received his LSU offer. Nearly 10 months later, Stingley Jr. re-opened his recruitment following coaching changes and wanting to take a step back after going head-first into LSU off the initial offer. While Florida provided a little gasp of hesitation for the Tiger faithful, Stingley Jr. was back as an LSU commit before his senior season started, two years later. Things were shut down after his announcement, and he was on campus in January as one of the four early enrolees.

The Numbers

110 - 101 = Franchise Player. One of the best players to come along in years, if not decades. Odds of having a player in this category every year is slim. This prospect has “can’t miss” talent.

100 - 98 = Five-star prospect. One of the top 30 players in the nation. This player has excellent pro-potential and should emerge as one of the best in the country before the end of his career. There will be 32 prospects ranked in this range in every football class to mirror the first round of the NFL Draft.

97 - 90 = Four-star prospect. One of the top 300 players in the nation. This prospect will be an impact-player for his college team. He is an All-American candidate who is projected to play professionally.

89 - 80 = Three-star prospect. One of the top 10% players in the nation. This player will develop into a reliable starter for his college team and is among the best players in his region of the country. Many three-stars have significant pro potential.

79 - below = Two-star prospect. This player makes up the bulk of Division I rosters. He may have little pro-potential, but is likely to become a role player for his respective school.

247 Composite Rating: *****

247 Composite Ranking: .998

Funny how scouting works with coaches. Stingley Jr. was the No. 197 ranked recruit in the nation early in the summer before his junior season, which would normally make fans wonder why LSU was taking a commitment from someone, albeit it in 2016, that soon, even if it’s an in-state recruit. A strong camp season that summer moved him into the top 100 by August. After the junior season evaluations, he was into the top 20, and it came as no surprise that he would end up at No. 3, and the highest-rated overall player at his position in the history of the 247 ratings.

The Film

Stingley Jr. wasted little time showing what he was capable of with his interception in the Spring Game above. It also shows why the summer camp season can be important for a lot of these recruits. Watching the senior footage, it becomes quickly apparent how Derek is so far out of any one else’s league he is playing against. You can see the athleticism and ball skills at the very least at the high school level, along with an elite level of speed. It takes seeing that interception with LSU to showcase his highly-touted shutdown ability, riding in the hip pocket of Terrace Marshall that whole route to make that interception an easy one for him.

The Future

Williams is gone, a second-round pick and likely starter for the Cleveland Browns, leaving a starting spot wide open. Kelvin Joseph, who is currently in schrodinger’s transfer portal, and Kary Vincent Jr. are really the only two returning corners with significant playing time, but Joseph split time between corner and safety last year and Vincent Jr. is the likely starter as the slot corner. That depth shows why Stingley Jr. was part of a four-cornerback class last year, and also shows that Stingley Jr. is a sign-and-start kind of player.

High End: He continues the tradition of DBU, taking over as the No. 1 corner in 2020 if Kristian Fulton goes pro before forming another formidable duo with LSU commit Elias Ricks and is another first-round pick in a couple of seasons.

Low End: Maybe there’s trouble transitioning from high school to SEC football and he becomes the No. 2 corner behind Ricks. That’s about as low as I can see it.

Realistic: Honestly, it’s likely going to be the high end, barring injury. He shows way too much of a work ethic to get lethargic at LSU, and I think most everyone can see him as a first-round pick, just depends on how high up he goes. This kid is every bit the driven professional type that Patrick Peterson, Mo Claiborne, Tre White and Greedy Williams were before him.