Some people are born to play football, you can say Dunham High School’s Derek Stingley Jr. is one of those individuals. The nation’s number one prospect, according to Rivals.com, was born with football in his blood.
His grandfather is Darryl Stingley, the former wide receiver of the New England Patriots, who became a quadriplegic after a vicious hit from Oakland Raiders safety Jack Tatum in a 1978 preseason game.
Derek’s dad, Derek Stingley Sr., also played football in college and the Arena League. Stingley Sr. was also drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies in 1993, but Derek Jr. has always dreamed of being a football player.
When his Dad was coaching in the arena football league in Macon, Georgia, “Little Sting” ran drills with the pro athletes, when he was four-years-old.
Derek Stingley Sr. was my color analyst for the Cox 4 Game of the Week. “Little Sting” showed up with a football and eventually found a group of kids and had his own football game in a nearby field.
“I was always going to play football” Derek Jr. told usatodayhss.com. “You can’t think about getting hurt like that because you can’t play scared.”
Stingley Jr.’s athletic ability scares opposing teams. Through seven weeks of this season for Dunham HS in Baton Rouge he’s scored 13 touchdowns on offense, defense and special teams.
In a 47-6 victory over East Feliciana on October 5th, Stingley Jr. touched the ball four times and three of those touches led to touchdowns, including a 35-yard touchdown pass.
“He’s so fluid and can change speed so quickly, and be explosive and physical,” said Dunham Head Coach Neil Weiner. “Total football player.”
Weiner said not only does Stingley Jr. have great athletic ability, Weiner says his attention to detail is more advanced than any high school player he’s been around.
“He has a passion to learn his position, takes a lot of pride trying to learn about the game,” said Weiner. “Wants to know why we run a certain defense against this formation, he’s always asking questions.”
After intercepting 11 passes during his junior season, the big question surrounding Stingley was what college he’ll attend. Former LSU Coach Les Miles offered a scholarship to Stingley when he was in the 9th grade.
Other big schools were also knocking on his door. Stingley eventually narrowed his decision to LSU, Florida or Texas.
On June 20th Stingley announced he’ll attend LSU with a video posted on YouTube.
“And once a Tiger, always a Tiger,” said Stingley Jr. in the well edited video.
“Wants to play in front of the people who have watched him,” said Weiner.
Stingley Jr. only has a few games left in his high school career and can add to his legacy with a state championship.
Dunham will be one of the favorites when the Division III playoffs begin in November. The Tigers have won only one state championship and that was in 2004.
They may have enough talent around Stingley Jr. to win a title.
Quarterback Reed Godberry operates the offense efficiently, running backs Kalante Wilson and Treylan Mouton can rip off big runs. The offensive line has been great and wide receiver Devin Taylor is a threat in the passing game.
The defense had a stretch this season where it didn’t allow a point in four consecutive games. With Stingley Jr. at cornerback, it eliminates half the field for the opposing team’s passing game.
Weiner calls Stingley Jr. a humble person, embarrassed by the number one ranking. But if he won a state championship, I don’t see Stingley Jr. apologizing.