By Tim Whelan Jr., USA TODAY High School Sports | December 12, 2018
Dunham School (Baton Rouge, La.) five-star cornerback Derek Stingley Jr. received his All-American Bowl jersey Wednesday at his school as part of the All-American Bowl Selection Tour presented by American Family Insurance.
An LSU commit, Stingley has grown up nearby. That didn’t stop he and his family from taking in an official visit last weekend at the Baton Rouge campus.
When asked if there is a player he looks up to or models his game after, Stingley didn’t need a beat to think about it.
“Patrick Peterson,” Stingley said, referring to the LSU alumnus and Arizona Cardinals superstar. “That’s the only one I pay attention to.”
Among the Geaux Tigers faithful, Stingley’s name has been placed alongside Peterson’s of late. While acknowledging such comparisons on an accomplishments level are far premature, Stingley understands why they’ve come about.
“It’s pretty cool to be compared to somebody you look up to – we’re both long, we’ve both got athleticism, we’re both pretty smart,” said Stingley, who got a chance to meet Peterson during the LSU/Alabama matchup in November. “I think our games are pretty similar – of course, he’s in the NFL.”
A do-everything player who also had a sizeable impact as a receiver and in the return game in addition to his work in the defensive backfield, Stingley can make his imprint anywhere on the gridiron.
The numbers Stingley put up this year are something to behold. As a cornerback whose side teams largely stayed away from, Stingley made 35 tackles with two interceptions. As a receiver, he had 678 yards through the air (28.3 yards/catch) with eight TDs. He also managed 192 rushing yards (17.5 yards/carry) with four TDs. In addition to returning five kickoffs for TDs, Stingley also threw for a score.
That’s 18 TDs accounted for in about 50 touches his senior year, capping a career that included 27 interceptions, 17 pass breakups, three forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and 15 kicks or punts returned for touchdowns.
“Every time I touch the ball, that’s the goal – to score,” Stingley said.
The son of former professional football and baseball player Derek Stingley and the grandson of late New England Patriots wide receiver Darryl Stingley, the Dunham School product is proud to carry on his family name.
“I know how much of a legacy my grandfather and my father have passed on, so it’s pretty cool to keep that going,” Stingley said.
Stingley plans to sign with LSU next Wednesday, Dec. 19, and enroll in at the school in January.
“This is something I’ve been waiting for for a long time, since I was a freshman,” Stingley said. “It’s part of the plan, and yet it’s a dream come true at the same time.”
The All-American Bowl is scheduled for Jan. 5 in the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas and will be televised live on NBC at 1 p.m. EST.