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 LSU’s big push for 4-star Class of 2019 cornerback Derek Stingley Jr., who has made a string of visits to Baton Rouge over the past two months.
Derek Stingley Jr. recaps recent stop at LSU
Derek Stingley Jr. is no stranger to LSU’s campus.
Thirteen months ago, the then unknown defensive back camped in Baton Rouge, landed an offer from defensive backs coach Corey Raymond and gave a verbal commitment on the spot.
Stingley saw his recruitment take off soon after. Alabama, Florida, Florida State, UGA, Tennessee and Texas are a few of the schools that extended offers to the 4-star cornerback, who reopened his recruitment in April.
Stingley, the No. 1 cornerback in Louisiana’s Class of 2019, has made several important visits this summer to Florida, Texas and a handful to nearby LSU. That includes camping there twice in June, a visit on his 16th birthday and a return trip before the NCAA’s Dead Period. His most recent stop-in came Thursday when he and his parents sat in Raymond’s office talking about a potential return in the Tigers’ recruiting class.
“It was great,” Stingley told SEC Country. “I got a chance to see what the campus was like from an academic standpoint. I got to talk with the coaches about my technique and how to play routes from man and zone concepts.
“It’s all about building relationships with me. I’m just trying to get to know the coaching staff a little bit better. It’s easy to get to LSU, although I would love to visit other schools that have offered and my family and I are planning to visit other schools as well. It doesn’t take much for us to make it over to LSU and that’s why I made more visits to them this summer.”
Improving relationships with Raymond
When Stingley de-committed from LSU in April, he felt it was in his best interest to go through the recruiting process unbiased. It wasn’t fair to him or to LSU he was exploring his options while committed to the Tigers.
At the time, the 6-foot-1, 170-pound corner maintained LSU was his leading school.
LSU — and more specifically, Raymond — has continued to work to better his connection with the priority 2019 target. That’s been a focal point of the efforts over the past four-plus months.
“It’s been fun,” Stingley said. “Things are better. He [Raymond] does a great job of explaining everything. … It’s good with more room to grow. We still have a lot of time to work on building a much better relationship and I still have two years to play high school football to figure this all out.”
The subject of Thursday’s visit to campus centered around what LSU could offer the 4-star defensive back from an academic standpoint.
Much of Raymond’s appeal is his reputation of molding his players into future NFL draft picks, but he spent a good amount of time speaking about what the school could provide Stingley outside of football, a critical selling point for not only the prized corner but his mother and father, who accompanied him on the visit.
“The staff was doing all that they could to give my parents and I every bit of information about the campus life outside of football,” Stingley said. “It’s very important and it’s nice to know what things are like outside of football. You know, you can’t play football forever.”
Where the Tigers stand
While Stingley maintained LSU was his top team after his de-commitment, he has since taken a step back.
He has made visits to several college campuses in recent months — LSU, Florida and Texas most recently, but also to Miami, Alabama and Florida State.
At this juncture in his recruitment, Stingley views the teams that have offered on an even playing field. Don’t expect a decision until National Signing Day 2019.
“I’m totally undecided at the moment,” he said. “I’m taking everything slow. I’m talking with all the teams and building relationships to see if I’m a good fit wherever the future may be for me.”
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