A big time honor
The resurgent Duke football program continues to get noticed. Early in the week, safety Jaylen Stinson was named as the ACC Defensive Back of the Week. He picked up an even bigger honor later on when the Paycom Jim Thorpe Award tabbed him as their Player of the Week.
The Thorpe Award is voted on by the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame and is given to the nation’s top defensive back. This is a big deal, folks. It’s great to see a Blue Devil get conference recognition, but getting noticed by a national award is on a different level. I’ve been saying this team has been turning heads. This honor for Stinson is proof that people are noticing what is going on with head coach Mike Elko’s team.
Why everyone seems to love him this week
I’m sure most know why the junior from Alabama is getting so much attention, so I’ll make this brief. Stinson had eleven tackles and a pass breakup in the Blue Devils win over Northwestern. As Wildcat running back Evan Hull was just about to cross the goal line in the game’s final seconds, Stinson delivered a bone-jarring hit that popped the ball loose. Brandon Johnson fell on it in the end zone to seal a 31-23 thriller for Duke.
He didn’t just do it on defense-Stinson made an impact on special teams as well. “He had a tremendous game, was both our defensive player of the week and special teams player of the week making plays all over the field,” said Elko at his weekly press conference.
A former three-star recruit who chose Duke over Purdue, Stinson is making the most of being a full-time starter and has helped turn the defense into a strength for the Blue Devils.