As expected, the nation’s top-ranked cornerback prospect is staying home.
On Wednesday, five-star Baton Rouge (La.) Dunham School product Derek Stingley brought his recruitment to a close and announced his commitment to the LSU, choosing the Tigers over Texas and Florida.
I know I can’t please everyone.. In my heart I truly feel this is the right place for me. I’m all in! 100% committed! Please respect my decision. pic.twitter.com/CX7exqfMww— Derek Stingley Jr. (@JrStingley) June 20, 2018
Despite the Longhorns and Gators finishing as finalists, Stingley’s recruitment was one in which seemingly all the signs pointed towards LSU from the start. Luring Louisiana’s elite talent away from The Boot generally provides its fair share of obstacles, and that task proves to be especially daunting when LSU is heavily involved with a prospect in its own backyard. Not to mention, LSU was the first to get offer with Stingley as a 15-year-old, and initially earned his commitment more than two years ago before he reevaluated his options last spring.
The second time around, Texas and Florida each had more of a say in the matter than most, with the Longhorns and Gators hosting Stingley for official visits on May 4 and June 1, respectively. Despite their best efforts, though, Stingley’s long-standing relationship with the LSU and defensive backs coach Corey Raymond, as well as the allure of playing for a power just miles away from his high school stomping grounds placed the odds entirely in the Tigers favor.
Prior to his pledge, all 23 of Stingley’s Crystal Ball projections favored LSU, and now that he’s on board, the nation’s No. 15 overall prospect becomes the headliner of Ed Orgeron’s 2019 class.
Now that the widely expected is reality, look for Texas to intensify its pursuit of key cornerback targets Jeffery Carter and Marques Caldwell.
Carter, a four-star prospect set to transfer to Mansfield Legacy, named Texas in his top four on June 6, along with Texas A&M, Alabama, and Oklahoma, where he was previously committed. Caldwell, on the other hand, is a three-star Oregon commit out of Alvin, and after receiving a late Texas offer on May 18, the expectation was that a flip was soon to follow. Caldwell was set to officially visit the Forty Acres on June 13, but didn't make it in. He and Carter appear to be Texas’ top two targets to pair with four-star Loganville (Ga.) Grayson cornerback pledge Kenyatta Watson II.