Each year before the start of the college football season, ESPN analyst Kirk Herbstreit co-hosts a preseason award show: The Herbie Awards.
On Thursday evening, Herbstreit named his pick for “most exciting player” heading into the 2021 season. And believe it or not, this player doesn’t lineup on the offensive side of the ball.
In fact, each of the analyst’s three nominees for the award came on the defensive end.
The Herbie went to LSU star cornerback Derek Stingley Jr — claiming the award over Oklahoma linebacker Nik Bonitto and Oregon defensive lineman Kayvon Thibodeaux.
In 22 games:
⚡️ 65 tackles
⚡️ 6 Ints
⚡️ 21 passes defended pic.twitter.com/tNSZ9bCR72
— ESPN College Football (@ESPNCFB) August 27, 2021
Coming out of high school in Baton Rouge as a five star prospect, the No. 1 ranked cornerback in the nation was destined for greatness the second he stepped onto LSU’s campus.
Through his first season with the Tigers in 2019, the hometown kid logged 38 tackles, six interceptions and 15 passes defended en route to consensus All-American honors. Despite seeing time in just seven games due to injury in 2020, Stingley earned All-American honors yet again behind 27 tackles and five passes defended. He’s also been named to this year’s preseason First-Team All-American squad.
The decorated is junior is expected to be an early first-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft.
Stingley hasn’t practiced since the early days of fall training camp due to injury. That being said, the star corner is expected to be on the field for the team’s season opener against UCLA next week.