Scroll through Twitter, peruse the popular message boards, or flick on your favorite football show, and you’re sure to come across the same debate year after year.
Which school is the real DBU?
DBU, of course, standing for Defensive Back University, the self-proclaimed title multiple programs place upon themselves to boast about having the best secondary in the country.
Some argue it belongs to Ohio State, which has coined its own nickname of “BIA,” meaning “Best In America.” Others feel it’s yet another category Alabama dominates. But ask most local and national experts, and they’ll tell you that tag belongs to LSU.
“It’s a well-known fact that DBU lives in Baton Rouge,” agrees star safety Grant Delpit. “A lot of other schools try to claim this and that. It gets tiring for us. We like to play our game and let the film do the talking. I respect everybody’s game … but we go out and prove it every day.”
It’s hard to argue against Delpit and his Tigers.
A whopping 16 LSU defensive back alums were on active NFL rosters in the past year, headlined by former first-round picks like Patrick Peterson, Jamal Adams and Tre’Davious White, as well as recent second-rounders like Greedy Williams and Donte Jackson.
The trend doesn’t seem to be anywhere close to dying, either. Both Delpit and senior cornerback Kristian Fulton are already ranking among the
top 20 to 30 players for the 2020 NFL Draft.
Next in line appears to be former Dunham standout Derek Stingley Jr. The true freshman was the top-rated cornerback coming out of high school. “He’s just a different type of freshman,” Fulton says of Stingley. “He’s ready to roll with the big dogs.”
LSU’s claim on the DBU tag is as strong as ever.
DEFENDERS TO WATCH
Meet a few of the faces that will feature in LSU’s secondary this fall in an effort to carry on DBU’s tradition in Baton Rouge
Fulton, the former No. 1 recruit in Louisiana, started the first 10 games last season as the Tigers’ No. 2 cornerback to Greedy Williams. The top job belongs to him this fall after recording 25 tackles, one interception and nine passes defended in 2018.
Kary Vincent Jr.
They say speed kills, and Vincent is living proof. The LSU track star was also a top 15 cornerback prospect nationally before featuring in 11 games as a true freshman and all 13 games (with seven starts) last year. He’s tallied 40 tackles, two interceptions and a sack in his collegiate career.
FRESHMEN TO FOLLOW
Derek Stingley Jr.
Stingley ranks as one of the most highly touted prospects to ever sign with the Tigers. The consensus five-star athlete was the third overall prospect in the country a year ago and was named Louisiana’s Gatorade Player of the Year in 2018. He’s already been projected as the No. 2 cornerback this fall.
Flott, like Stingley, had the benefit of enrolling early in January. Despite being a three-star recruit, Flott has already caught the eye of the coaches with his length and athleticism. He played both receiver and cornerback in high school, meaning he has a knack for catching the football and should see substantial minutes this season.
Delpit is the most decorated of the LSU defensive backs. He was a unanimous
All-American in his 2018 sophomore season, adding First Team All-SEC honors and a Nagurski Award Finalist to his resume. He’ll enter this season as the Tigers’ leading tackler with 134 tackles, five sacks and six interceptions.
After switching positions multiple times in his LSU career, Stevens finally seems poised for a breakout season. He was a top-ranked athlete at the high school level and eventually settled in as a safety/linebacker hybrid toward the tail end of last season. Stevens recorded 35 tackles, one and a half sacks and an interception in 2018.
FRESHMEN TO FOLLOW
Maurice Hampton Jr.
Hampton’s recruitment had the coaching staff sweating, as the two-sport athlete was one of the top prospects in the MLB Draft this summer. He turned down a reported $1.8 million offer to go pro and ultimately wound up on campus to play both football and baseball. He is gifted enough to plug in as a key contributor in both sports as a true freshman.
Brooks did a little bit of everything at the high school level, featuring on both sides of the ball while earning his five-star status. He was technically recruited as an outside linebacker but is listed on LSU’s roster as a safety. Look for Brooks to make his mark in multiple ways this season for the Tigers.
This article was originally published in the August 2019 issue of 225 Magazine.
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