From his first day on the LSU campus in 2019, Tigers’ defensive back Derek Stingley Jr. was projected as an NFL first-round draft pick, somebody who would be a playmaking first-team All-America choice like past LSU DB greats Patrick Peterson and Tyrann Mathieu.
Stingley’s play as a freshman on LSU’s 15-0 2019 national championship team earned him first-team All-America. Last season as a sophomore, he was an All-SEC selection for the second straight season and solidified his projection as top five choice in the 2022 NFL draft.
Tuesday, Stingley was bestowed the honor for his upcoming junior season of wearing the Tigers’ No. 7 jersey, annually awarded by LSU’s head coach to the player who’s a dynamic playmaker while having qualities needed to build championship teams around. Some past wearers of the No. 7 jersey for LSU include Peterson, Mathieu, running back Leonard Fournette and wide receiver DJ Chark.
“It’s an honor to be part of the legacy of players that have worn the number 7 jersey,” Stingley said. “I’m looking forward to upholding the tradition and the standard of play that has been set by the group that has come before me.”
Last season, defensive back JaCoby Stevens inherited the No. 7 after the original 2020 choice wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase opted to turn pro.
“Derek is very deserving of following in the footsteps of some of the great players in LSU history in wearing the No. 7 jersey,” LSU coach Ed Orgeron said. “Derek is an outstanding young man from right here in Baton Rouge who represents our program with tremendous character and a desire to make all of those around him better.
“He inspires his teammates to achieve great things on and off the field. He’s most deserving of wearing the No. 7 jersey in 2021 for the LSU Tigers. I know he will wear it with pride and will represent it well.”
Stingley has appeared in 22 games for the Tigers, registering 65 tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss and six interceptions. He’s also recorded 26 pass breakups, recovered two fumbles and forced another.