There's no question that Derek Stingley is one of the most gifted athletes and defensive backs in college football. As he enters his junior season, he's even drawn comparisons to Charles Woodson by some national analysts and the hype around this future top five pick has never been higher.
But since his freshman season, there's always been that lingering conversation that Stingley would receive some snaps on the offensive side of the ball because of his immense athletic ability and talent. The conversation was reignited a few weeks back when WWL in New Orleans reported that Stingley would indeed be a part of the offense in 2021.
During an appearance on Off the Bench Tuesday morning, coach Ed Orgeron says it's still a possibility but it's a conversation he's yet to have with Stingley or his father.
"I think we're gonna give him a couple of snaps in fall camp, let him see what he can do and see if we can manage it," Orgeron said. "Obviously Derek's going to have to manage it and talk to his father but I haven't talked to them about it yet. He knows I'm open minded about it but it's totally up to him."
Giving him a few snaps in the fall is a no harm, no foul situation for the program. If offensive coordinator Jake Peetz believes there is a way to get Stingley involved in a limited capacity then it's worth a shot. It would certainly take that whole positionless offensive mentality to another level.
But to think that Stingley should be a significant part of the offensive plans moving forward isn't practical. The Tigers just signed five receivers to its recruiting class, one of the best haul's in the country. The program also has returning players like Kayshon Boutte, Jaray Jenkins and Koy Moore, all who are expected to take that next step in their development and become key pieces of the rotation.
"Me personally, I think we got a good group of wide receivers to where we may not need him," Derek Stingley Sr. said back in February on the Jordy Culotta Show. "But if they wanna throw something in there with him, I'm perfectly fine with that and I know Derek is as well."
In his interview, Orgeron also said that cornerbacks coach Corey Raymond likely would have some reservations about it but if it's a snap here and there it shouldn't affect Stingley's defense all that much. Entering his junior season, Stingley will be wearing the heralded No. 7 jersey, one that always has a different feel when worn by an LSU cornerback.
He's already a star cornerback but he does have something to prove as he missed three games during the 2020 shortened season and was rather inconsistent along with most of the secondary last season. Stingley has been working mostly on the mental side of the game this offseason according to his father.
"It's all mental for him," Stingley Sr. said. "It's just a matter of understanding 'you're gonna have some setbacks' but you have to come back from it. You can't dwell on it, can't feel like you let the team down because someone caught a five-yard pass on you. He was so used to having that success and he never really had that adversity. Know your strengths, know your weaknesses and get by."