Derek Stingley Sr. explains why he supports Ja'Marr Chase's opt out decision
Derek Stingley Sr. has a unique perspective of the current opt-out situation in college football, particularly when it comes to players on the LSU team. His son, Derek Stingley Jr., is arguably the best cornerback in college football.
But Stingley Sr. also understands what Ja’Marr Chase is going through when he recently became the highest-profile college football player to opt out of the season. Chase is widely considered to be an early-round draft pick in the NFL Draft, and is likely to be one of the first wide receivers taken in 2021. Stingley Sr. shared these thoughts on Off the Bench on 104.5 in Baton Rouge.
“No I was not surprised, he has to do what’s best for himself. What’s happening in the world, not just college football, is a pandemic you’ve got so much uncertainty. Everything from this point, we don’t know what’s to come. What’s to come next week, next month, even next year,” he said. “If Ja’Marr chose to do what he thought was best, which is to say, I just don’t know what’s going to come from all of this, and the best thing to do is for me to forego this year and start preparing for where I know I can be healthy, and ready for the upcoming combine, then we have to respect that. I respect it, because I just put myself in Chase’s shoes. What would I do in this situation, because it is a tough situation that we’re dealing with.”
Stingley Sr. added that the uncertainty remains for even the revised season, and what’s to come of the shortened all-conference schedule in the SEC.
“Ja’Marr has done everything he could do for the program of LSU,” Stingley Sr. said. “Yeah, he didn’t single-handedly bring us a championship, but he was a major part of that championship, a major part.”
Stingley Sr. also took direct aim at the critics of Chase, who he believes would never be in the position Chase is in to make this kind of decision.
“It just upsets me some of the things these grownups were writing about because he chose to make a personal decision that some people would never ever have to face in their life,” Stingley Sr. said. “You have all this life-changing, generational-changing money sitting on a table, and you’re asking a 19-20-year-old to make a decision. But these grownups who sit back and just want to be entertained are upset because this young man chose to make a personal decision. Let’s just say Ja’Marr would get hurt in a practice or a game, what would everybody say, ‘Oh he shouldn’t have played this year. I don’t know why he played. What was the purpose of it. Ohio State is not playing, Arizona State is not playing. Why did he go out there?’ Those things right there are stuff that people don’t have to deal with when you’re looking at a person like Ja’Marr that had all these options out in front of him. So he chose to do what’s best for him. I’m going to miss him, but I truly support him and his family with everything that I have.”