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LSU cornerback Derek Stingley Jr. (24) on the field before kickoff between LSU and Arkansas, Saturday, November 23, 2019 at LSU's Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge, La.

Sophomore cornerback Derek Stingley Jr. was taken to the hospital Friday night after becoming "acutely ill," LSU said in a statement released Saturday morning, and the star defensive back will not play in the team's season opener.

The illness isn't related to the coronavirus, LSU said. The school expects Stingley will soon be discharged from the hospital.

“Derek Stingley Jr. became acutely ill last night and was evaluated overnight in the hospital," LSU's statement said. "His condition is not COVID-19 related and he is expected to be discharged soon. He will return to activity after full evaluation by the medical team.”

LSU executive deputy athletic director Verge Ausberry said on WNXX 98.1 FM's pre-game show that Stingley had an "episode" Friday night.

"He's doing well," Ausberry said. "He's talking and he's walking. It's not COVID related at all. His parents are with him. Mother and father. Sister. And he's in good shape. It's positive what we're hearing."

"He will not be playing today in the game," Ausberry added.

LSU plays Mississippi State at 2:30 p.m. Saturday in Tiger Stadium.

Stingley won't return to football activities until he receives a full medical evaluation.

Stingley started every game as a true freshman in 2019. He led the Southeastern Conference and ranked No. 5 nationally with six interceptions. He also finished No. 2 nationally in passes defended with 21. One of the best cornerbacks in the country, Stingley earned consensus All-America honors.

LSU will often play in nickel this season because of spread offenses, requiring three cornerbacks on the field at once. LSU will likely turn to freshman Elias Ricks and sophomore Cordale Flott at outside cornerback.

"Now, it's next guy up," Ausberry said. "Like Coach O says, we can't blink. Derek's not going to be there. He'll be with them in spirit. We've got a lot of young guys who will get an opportunity today."

Brooks Kubena contributed to this report

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