Derek Stingley played no more than three middle school games before Neil Weiner realized something.
“We figured it really wasn’t worth his time playing those games,” said Weiner, the third-year Dunham coach. “We quickly bumped him up to varsity.”
The result: He picked off two passes in the latter half of that season and cemented himself as a starter – in the eighth grade.
Stingley committed to LSU on Friday afternoon during the Tigers’ on-campus, three-day high school camp, becoming the program’s first verbal pledge in the 2019 class. Stingley, a 6-foot, 165-pound cornerback, tweeted the news Friday after a meeting with coach Les Miles.
The coach, in a meeting with Stingley’s parents, offered, and Stingley quickly committed – something Weiner saw coming.
“We talked yesterday just trying to get him to understand that as a local kid, when you’re offered by LSU, LSU expects you to commit,” Weiner said. “I wanted to make sure they were prepared for that situation. Derek’s dad said, ‘He’s ready to commit.’”
Stingley is a “football junkie,” Weiner said, with a coach as a father. Derek Stingley, Sr., is an arena league football coach. He’s coached the Pittsburgh Power, Philadelphia Soul and will soon leave for China to coach an upstart arena team there.
As a freshman last season, Stingley returned “two to three” kicks for touchdowns and had five interceptions. He plays receiver, too, and is the snapper on punts.
“He just has great football skills, great football IQ,” Weiner said. “He’s an outstanding receiver. He could be a college receiver. But he takes pride in being a defensive back. He’s excited about being a defensive back. To be apart of DBU and that lineage, that’s exciting for him.”
This story will be updated.
LSU’s 2017 commitment class
RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Catholic (Baton Rouge)
QB Jontre Kirklin, Lutcher (Lutcher)
DT Tyler Shelvin, Notre Dame (Lafayette)
OLB Patrick Queen, Livonia (Livonia)
QB Lowell Narcisse, Saint James (Saint James)
QB Myles Brennan, St. Stanislaus (Bay St. Louis, Mississippi)
OG Edward Ingram, DeSoto (DeSoto, Texas)
OT Austin Deculus, Cy-Fair (Cypress, Texas)
WR Stephen Guidry, Hinds CC (Morganza)
FB Tory Carter, Lee County (Leesburg, Georgia)
OG Saahdiq Charles, MRA (Ridgeland, Mississippi)
DE Aaron Moffitt, Catholic (Baton Rouge)
LSU’s 2018 commitment class
DB Kelvin Joseph, Scotlandville (Baton Rouge)
DB Corione Harris, Landry-Walker (New Orleans)
QB Zadock Dinkelmann, Somerset (Somerset, Texas)
WR Devonta Jason, Landry-Walker (New Orleans)