By Jim Kleinpeter, The Advocate
At the tender age of 17, as his high school career approaches its end and college football beckons, it’s becoming apparent the adjective “special” encapsulates Derek Stingley Jr.
The five-star cornerback and LSU commitment is the nation’s No. 1 recruit, according to Rivals.com. Behind those numbers, in the subjective world of college football recruiting, he’s as much a sure thing as Baton Rouge has ever seen, on par with the likes of Warrick Dunn and Marcus Spears and Michael Clayton.
It begins with Stingley’s dominance on Friday nights for The Dunham School, and it extends to dominance in every recruiting camp he attends. He’s fast, quick, strong, instinctive, durable, technically sound, athletic, smart on the field and in the classroom.
His desire is manifested in a dazzling work ethic. He takes as much pleasure at mastering a drill as returning an interception for a touchdown. In terms of athletic ability and physical stature (6-foot-1, 197 pounds), he appears close to being NFL-ready.
And yet, his celebrity precedes his athletic accomplishments. You only need to hear his name.
Yes, that Stingley...
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(This article first appeared on The Advocate.com on August 11, 2018)