As football media days across Power 5 and Group of 5 conferences roll along, the award committees are putting out preseason watchlists and three of LSU’s best players could take home hardware with big seasons.
Junior corner Derek Stingley Jr. and sophomore corner Eli Ricks are on the Bednarik Award watch list. LSU’s starting two corners are among 90 players who are in early consideration to be named the best defensive player in college football.
Sophomore wide receiver Kayshon Boutte is on the Maxwell Award watch list, given to the most outstanding player in college football.
For those wondering, neither the Bilentikoff (nation’s best receiver award) nor the Thorpe (best defensive back) have released their watchlists.
LSU has had two players win the Bednarik Award and won it in back-to-back seasons. Patrick Peterson took the Bednarik home in 2010 and Tyrann Mathieu kept the trophy in 2011. Joe Burrow won the program’s only Maxwell Award in 2019.
Stingley, a two-time All-American, is one of the best football players in the nation and a surefire top-10 pick come next April’s draft. Though he’s been arguably the best corner in college football since arriving at LSU, he has yet to win a national award (though if we’re being real, Grant Delpit is holding Stingley’s Thorpe award from 2019). Through two years Stingley has six interceptions and 26 pass break ups.
Ricks was a Freshman All-American last season after picking up 20 tackles, intercepting four passes—returning two for touchdowns—and breaking up nine passes.
Boutte was also a Freshman All-American and has seen his stock rise since setting the single-game SEC record in receiving yards with 308 against Ole Miss. In 2020, Boutte caught 45 passes for 735 yards and scored five touchdowns.