LSU star cornerback Derek Stingley Jr. officially declares for the NFL Draft

Koki Riley
Lafayette Daily Advertiser

LSU cornerback Derek Stingley Jr. has declared for the NFL Draft.

The Tigers star wrote a letter stating his intentions in a story published to The Players Tribune on Thursday.

"Becoming a national champion and being a part of the real DBU. Those experiences will last me a lifetime, and I’m proud to say I contributed to that. I’ll always rep LSU and the brotherhood forever," Stingley wrote. "Right now I know that I am ready to lock in and focus on what’s next. I wanted you to hear it from me first that I’ll be declaring for the 2022 NFL draft."

Despite playing in only three games due to injury this season, Stingley is projected as a top-five pick in April's NFL draft. He was a consensus All-American in 2019 and an AP and Coaches first-team All-SEC selection in 2020.

Stingley finishes his LSU career with 73 tackles and six interceptions. When he committed to LSU, Stingley was a five-star recruit out of Dunham High School in Baton Rouge.

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Stingley's decision doesn't come as a surprise, but his departure is another blow for a Tigers secondary that has already lost multiple contributors.

Starting cornerback Eli Ricks transferred to Alabama and nickel corner Cordale Flott will reportedly enter the NFL draft as well. Sixth-year senior Cam Lewis is also heading to the NFL.

LSU did sign four-star cornerback Laterrance Welch and three-star defensive back Jordan Allen during the early signing period, but the Tigers have yet to make any additions through the transfer portal in the secondary.

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Of the Tigers' key contributors at cornerback returning next season, sophomore Dwight McGlothern is the most notable name. Nicholls State transfer Pig Cage, who played well in the Texas Bowl on Tuesday, is also in line to potentially contribute.