LSU Football: Why Derek Stingley Jr’s Heisman dream is likely over

[Staff Photo/Gary Cosby Jr.]Sec Media Days Ed Orgeron
[Staff Photo/Gary Cosby Jr.]Sec Media Days Ed Orgeron /

Entering the 2021 season, LSU football defensive back Derek Stingley Jr has been a popular dark horse candidate to win the Heisman Trophy.

In fact, ESPN listed Stingley this week as the most likely Heisman candidate on LSU’s roster.

Here’s what ESPN had to say about Stingley and the Heisman trophy:

"Quarterback Max Johnson has promise. So does wide receiver Kayshon Boutte. But let’s think a little outside the box and consider Derek Stingley Jr. here. He’s been arguably the most talented cornerback in college football the past two years. And with Eli Ricks playing opposite him, opposing quarterbacks shouldn’t be able to simply stop throwing in his direction this season."

Unfortunately for Stingley, his dream of winning a Heisman Trophy likely died this week.

Why LSU Football’s Derek Stingley Jr won’t have a shot to win the Heisman in 2021

The odds were already stacked against Stingley winning the Heisman simply because he’s a defensive back.

A defensive player hasn’t won the award since Michigan’s Charles Woodson in 1997.

Woodson won the award because, in addition to being a shutdown cornerback, he was also utilized on returns and on offense.

Stingley returns punts for the Tigers, so he has that going for him in 2021. And he was expected to see some playing time on offense this season.

On Thursday, however, LSU head coach Ed Orgeron said that playing on offense was no longer an option for Stingley, due to nagging injuries (via

The only way Stingley was going to have a shot at winning the Heisman this year was going to be if he was productive on the offensive side of the ball, while also being the best cornerback in the nation.

With that option off the board, there’s no way he’ll be considered for the award — even though he might be the best college football player in the country.

Next. Joe Burrow is working 2 jobs with the Bengals. dark

That’s just how it does for defensive players. Stingley, though, will have the last laugh — he’s set to be a top 5-10 pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. And he already has a national championship on his resumé.