Welcome to SEC Country’s daily Eye on the Tigers, a rundown of everything happening in LSU Tigers recruiting, with Sam Spiegelman. Today, we discuss 5-star Baton Rouge cornerback Derek Stingley Jr. The one-time LSU commit returned to campus last week to take in conditioning drills and can sense he is needed by the Tigers staff.
Derek Stingley Jr. feeling push from LSU
NEW ORLEANS — LSU’s plans for the 2018 secondary began to fall by the wayside on National Signing Day when 5-star cornerback Patrick Surtain Jr. selected Alabama over the Tigers, his leading school for the previous two years.
LSU signed one defensive back — 4-star prospect Kelvin Joseph — to the class, putting a major emphasis on cornerbacks in 2019. That list begins and ends with another local product.
Derek Stingley Jr., the nation’s No. 2-ranked cornerback and the No. 2 overall prospect in the state, sits squarely on top of the Tigers’ secondary wish list for this recruiting class. That was made perfectly transparent at LSU’s elite junior day and again on Signing Day when he reached out to coach Ed Orgeron.
“The night of National Signing Day, when Patrick didn’t sign, they tried to get me to commit,” a grinning Stingley told SEC Country at the Pylon 7-on-7 event in New Orleans last weekend.
“I got a little time before that, but they’re definitely coming at me pretty hard.”
That’s for sure.
The 5-star cornerback has been feeling the push from not only the LSU staff but also fellow All-American Kardell Thomas. Another Baton Rouge product, Thomas has assumed the role of lead recruiter for Orgeron in the 2019 class and has zeroed in on Stingley as his top target.
“Kardell has been trying to get me to commit almost every day,” Stingley said, laughing. “Every time we talk, he’s like: ‘Just commit.’ I’d expect that, though. He’s trying to keep this class in The Boot.”
The need for plug-and-play cornerbacks at LSU is glaring, and Stingley is a top priority for the coaching staff.
The 6-foot-1, 190-pound Stingley realizes there are ample opportunities right down the road, but he maintains that doesn’t give the Tigers or any team an edge now.
“It’s good to know that I could go in and possibly start. I mean, who doesn’t want that coming out of high school?” he said. “You’ve got to work for everything, so it’s still a possibility it’s somewhere else. I know I won’t be given a spot, so there’s no upper hand if they say I can start. I’ve got to work for it, but it feels pretty good to know I can be a leader or a captain on the team, but that’s only if I go there.”
Stingley visited for elite junior day in January and returned a week ago to take in the team’s fourth-quarter workouts.
While the 5-star cornerback has seen just about every aspect of the football program over the years, this unofficial visit took him by surprise.
“I had never seen the fourth-quarter workout before,” Stingley said. “I liked seeing the energy while everyone was working out. They weren’t sluggish. Everybody was yelling, screaming, having fun out there. They made it fun to work out, so you know, if I work out like that, I can have fun with it, you know?”
Next up for Stingley is an out-of-state visit, with Texas and Stanford emerging as the next-likeliest destinations.
A decision could follow shortly after. Originally, the 2019 U.S. Army All-American was planning on a Signing Day commitment. That timeline could be pushed up to this summer before the start of his senior season at The Dunham School (La.).
Consider LSU a surefire finalist in that sweepstakes given his vast knowledge of the program.
“I pretty much know everything I need to know about them,” Stingley said of LSU, “but I’ve got to visit some other places. Right now, I’m not close [to a decision]. I have no idea right now.”
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