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Texans Safety Praises 'Sponge' Rookie Stingley Jr.

Veteran safety Jonathan Owens has praised rookie cornerback Derek Stingley Jr. for his sponge-like approach to training.

Drafted to fill a clear need for the Houston Texans, high-priced rookie cornerback Derek Stingley Jr. hasn't wasted any time in getting to grips with Lovie Smith's defense.

Despite his participation being limited as he continues to recover from a foot injury, safety Jonathan Owens is high on the third-overall pick who has been something of a "sponge" around the veteran.

"Great ball skills, athletic, smart, and willing to learn, asks a bunch of questions," Owens said. "That’s really a thing where you’re a new guy, you’re always going to be a sponge, anything anybody tells you."

"I’m relaying my past experiences to them, letting them know, okay, this is what you did, this is probably what you could do better, this is what somebody taught me," said Owens. "I’m excited."

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An AP All-SEC first-teamer in 2019 and 2020, Stingley Jr.'s college career didn't quite take the arc many had hoped. After a remarkable freshman year, a COVID-19 shortened sophomore season and injury-plagued junior year limited him to just 10 appearances in his final two years at an LSU program that was in need of change. 

Regardless, Stingley Jr. finished his career in Baton Rouge with 73 tackles, 26 defended passes, and six interceptions in 25 appearances. 

Now with a fresh start and, hopefully, a fresh bill of health on the way, the Stingley Jr. of old could be back for the start of training camp along with fellow rookies John Metchie III and Kenyon Green - both of whom are currently rehabbing as well.