Could we see All-American cornerback Derek Stingley Jr. suit up at wide receiver this fall in Death Valley? The ball hawking defensive back has shown flashes of pure athleticism as both a cornerback and kick returner with the chance to line up as a wide out for the Tigers this upcoming season.
Stingley Jr. was a part of Monday’s SEC Media Day where he, of course, was asked if any more thought had been given about his potential role on the offensive side of the ball heading into the 2021-22 season. A competitor on the field, Stingley Jr. ultimately said the decision will be up to Coach Ed Orgeron.
"That depends on whether Coach O thinks I should be or not ... Whatever I need to do to help the team win," Stingley told reporters when asked about potentially being used at wide receiver.
With the Tigers traditionally loaded at the wide receiver positon, this season will be a different challenge as they’re lacking the depth LSU fans are accustomed to seeing in Tiger Stadium. All-SEC talent Kayshon Boutte, who caught 45 passes for 735 yards and five touchdowns as a true freshman, is set to lead the pack, but questions rise as to who will be next in line to lead this receiving corps.
A deep wide receiver class coming in this year’s recruiting cycle, Coach Orgeron and his staff could rely heavily on the young guns to step up and provide as true freshmen unless he decides to make the decision to let Stingley Jr. suit up and show what he’s made of on the offensive end. Throughout spring,Orgeron remained optimistic about the long-term plan to allow Stingley Jr. to lineup at wide out.
"Here's the deal, I talked to his dad, I talked to him. We have a new defense coming in," Orgeron said earlier this spring. "I want him to be able to learn the defense this spring. Obviously, it's a lot of the same things for the corners. You're either in press-man or you're in zone, but he wanted to be able to master the defense before we even think about moving him to offense. That's something we're going to discuss this summer before camp."
Stingley Jr.’s proven athleticism has been on full display throughout his first two seasons with the Tigers given his tremendous play on both defense and special teams. With the ball in his hands, his shifty footwork and pure speed make it hard to not hope for Orgeron to let him line up at receiver.
A projected top 10 pick in next spring’s draft, all eyes will be on Stingley Jr. as he enters what will likely be his final season in Death Valley. His lockdown defense will be exciting to watch as he looks to continue the deep bloodline of the No. 7 legacy.