LSU All-American cornerback Derek Stingley to wear the coveted No. 7 jersey in 2021
BATON ROUGE — The elite No. 7 jersey at LSU will be worn by the definition of that term in the 2021 season – two-time All-American cornerback Derek Stingley Jr.
Stingley will join the likes of cornerback Patrick Peterson and tailback Leonard Fournette, both top-five picks in the NFL draft, who were among the first to wear the number reserved for the best of LSU's playmakers.
"It's an honor to be part of the legacy of players who have worn the No. 7 jersey," Stingley said in an LSU release Tuesday. "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."
Peterson, the fifth pick of the 2011 NFL Draft by Arizona, won the Chuck Bednarik award for the best defensive player in the nation and the Jim Thorpe award as the best defensive back as a junior in 2010. Fournette, the fourth pick of the 2017 draft, holds the LSU record for rushing yards in a season with 1,953 in 2015.
Stingley, a projected first-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, led the SEC with six interceptions as a freshman in 2019. He also broke up 15 passes, made 38 tackles and recovered a fumble as the Tigers went 15-0 and won the national championship. He was named first team All-American by eight outlets, including USA TODAY.
"He could have played in the NFL as a freshman," NFL Draft expert Mike Detillier said at the time. "He will be a top-five or 10 pick next year."
Stingley played in seven of LSU's 10 games last season due to injuries and made 27 tackles with five breakups, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery.
"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. "He is an outstanding young man from right here who represents our program with tremendous character and a desire to make all of those around him better."
Peterson was the first LSU player to wear the No. 7 jersey in 2008 after it became designated for elite players. He was followed by cornerback Tyrann Mathieu, Fournette, wide receiver D.J. Chark, wide receiver Jonathan Giles, safety Grant Delpit and safety JaCoby Stevens.
Stingley signed with LSU in 2019 from Dunham High in Baton Rouge as the No. 1 cornerback in the nation and No. 3 prospect by the 247Sports Composite.