LSU Football: SEC quarterbacks are in for a nightmare against the Tigers

Mandatory Credit: LSU Athletics/Pool Photo via USA TODAY Network
Mandatory Credit: LSU Athletics/Pool Photo via USA TODAY Network /

SEC quarterbacks are going to be having nightmares before they play LSU football in 2021.

That’s because the Tigers’ starting cornerback duo of Derek Stingley Jr and Eli Ricks might be the scariest cornerback duo in the nation.

On Monday, the Bednarik Award Watch list was revealed and Stingley and Ricks were both included.

The Bednarik Award is given annually to college football’s top defensive player.

The last LSU players to win the award were Patrick Peterson in 2010 and Tyrann Mathieu in 2011.

LSU football duo should be dominant

Most SEC fans already know about Stingley.

The Baton Rouge native was arguably the best non-quarterback college football player in the country as a true freshman in 2019.

Stingley wasn’t quite as dominant in 2020 — thanks to a new defensive coordinator combined with the challenges of a strange COVID-19 influenced season — but he’s still the most talented defensive back in the country. And he’ll likely be a top 5 or 10 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.

(And there’s even a chance that Stingley will see some time on offense, but that’s for opposing defenses to worry about.)

Stingley’s ascent to the top of the college football world isn’t surprising. The dynamic cornerback was rated as the No. 3 overall player in the country in the 2019 recruiting class. Dominating was his destiny.

Then there’s Ricks, a player who would be a lot more hyped if he wasn’t playing alongside Stingley.

Ricks is nearly as good as Stingley. In fact, Pro Football Focus ranks Ricks as the No. 3 returning cornerback in the country (Stingley, of course, is No. 1, while Cincinnati’s Ahmad Gardner is No. 2).

PFF pointed out Ricks’ “physicality at the line of scrimmage” and his “poise at the catch point” as reasons that he’s so tough on wide receivers.

This is an elite duo who can essentially shut down both sides of the field. Opposing quarterbacks are going to have to pick their poison when trying to throw the ball down the field against LSU.

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And neither choice will be ideal. Stingley and Ricks are going to drive offensive coordinators, quarterbacks, and wide receivers to the brink of madness in 2021.