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Derek Stingley has a lot of pressure on him heading into his third season at LSU. So far, he’s been pretty good at handling the pressure thrown his way, but the type of pressure coming from former LSU defensive back Tyrann Mathieu might feel a little different.
Last week, Anthony Treash with Pro Football Focus said Stingley “might be the best athlete to take the field this fall.”
That take was tweeted out by the PFF College account and got a quote tweet from Mathieu, the one formerly known as the Honey Badger. Since Stingley is now rocking the meaningful No. 7 for the Tigers — a number Mathieu once wore in Baton Rouge — the connection between the two defenders runs even deeper.
“Duh he’s no. 7. If he win Thorpe or Heisman I’ll donate another million to LSU,” Mathieu said in his tweet.
Duh he’s no. 7.
If he win Thorpe or Heisman
I’ll donate another million to LSU. https://t.co/WWLIBf8fN4
— Tyrann Mathieu (@Mathieu_Era) May 29, 2021
Think about that for a second.
Folks, that’s an enormous amount of money for Mathieu to donate to his former school, especially considering we’re fresh off a COVID season that claimed a lot of the normal revenue from full capacity stadiums. And now Stingley can help recoup some of those lost funds by bringing home a Thorpe Award or Heisman.
Talk about pressure, right?
The good news is that it might be difficult for opposing offenses to avoid Stingley this year. With the emergence of fellow five-star cornerback Elias Ricks last season, the Tigers now have two impact cornerbacks that receivers and backs will now have to avoid.
Will Stingley have enough opportunities to make the sort of plays needed to get into the Heisman mix? Eh, probably not, but a Thorpe Award is very much within the realm of possibility. And considering what a Thorpe Award would mean for LSU, it’s hard to pull against him to get it done.
Since 2010, three LSU defensive backs have won the Jim Thorpe Award: Patrick Peterson (2010), Morris Claiborne (2011) and Grant Delpit (2019). Will Stingley become the fourth in the last 12 years to bring it home? Or is there an even bigger award awaiting him this season?
Follow Clint Lamb on Twitter @ClintRLamb.