Take Two: Can Derek Stingley close out the 2019 cycle at No. 1?
Take Two returns with a daily offering tackling a handful of issues in the college football landscape. Rivals.com National Recruiting Analyst Adam Gorney lays out the situation and then receives takes from Rivals.com National Recruiting Director Mike Farrell and an expert from the Rivals.com network.
Derek Stingley Jr. is the new top-ranked prospect in the Rivals100 and the five-star could make history because never has a cornerback finished No. 1 in the rankings. That’s if the Baton Rouge (La.) Dunham standout can hold onto the top billing.
Stingley is a 6-foot-1, 195-pound star athlete and lockdown cornerback and that’s why he eclipsed other top recruits in this latest rankings release. He is expected to compete at the Rivals100 Five-Star Challenge presented by adidas in a few weeks to further solidify himself atop the rankings.
It’s a big statement that Stingley could be the first-ever cornerback to finish No. 1. Vernon Hargreaves III and Ted Ginn, Jr. ended up second in the rankings; Eric Berry, Jabrill Peppers and Iman Marshall were third; and Patrick Peterson (at that time Patrick Johnson) was fourth in his class.
That is some incredibly impressive company to surpass. Last recruiting class there were five five-star cornerbacks led by Patrick Surtain at No. 8 overall. What makes Stingley so special and can he close out this rankings cycle leading up to National Signing Day going down as the highest-rated corner in Rivals.com history dating back to 2002?
FIRST TAKE: CHAD SIMMONS, RIVALS.COM RECRUITING ANALYST
"There is simply no box that Stingley does not check. Sure, he does not face great competition on Friday nights, but if that was a concern, it really can't be anymore after what he has done against the best at camps over the last two years. He has the size of a top-end college safety right now and he can still cover like a corner. He has shown the ability to play man- and off-coverage, he has great instincts and he is a very physical defensive back.
"Coming out of high school, there is no doubt that he is one of the top corners I have seen. I loved Eric Berry as an athlete, but he played a lot more quarterback than defensive back in high school. The closest comparison for me is Vernon Hargreaves because I personally covered and evaluated him for years. Hargreaves was a very advanced cornerback coming out of high school, but Stingley is above average there, too. Plus, Stingley is bigger.
"To be the No. 1 prospect in the country at any position, you have to be special and Stingley is that plus some."
SECOND TAKE: MIKE FARRELL, RIVALS.COM NATIONAL RECRUITING DIRECTOR
"He’s more Patrick Peterson than anybody. Hargreaves is much smaller than Stingley and I never thought he was elite. We ended up having him No. 2 but that was based on a lot of feedback other than mine.
"Is he the best cornerback in Rivals.com history? He has a chance to be. Right now he’s not. He has another year left and we’ll see how he does and how he performs against the elite at the all-star events but he’s in the discussion. Eric Berry is another one I would compare him to because he has the size you want in a cornerback, too. I would say Peterson and Berry are the two he reminds me the most of and he is one of the most athletic kids to come out of Louisiana in a long time so that plays into it, too."
RIVALS RANKINGS WEEK (2019) SCHEDULE:
Monday: Top 10 players
Tuesday: New Rivals100
Wednesday: New Rivals250
Thursday: New offensive position rankings
Friday: New defensive position rankings
Saturday: Team rankings breakdown
Sunday: New state rankings