5-star DL gets personal treatment from Florida’s Billy Napier
Billy Napier has been hard at work on the college football recruiting trail in his sophomore season as the coach of the Florida Gators as he and his staff seek to restore glory to the Orange and Blue. One of the most coveted prep prospects in the current cycle is getting some serious personal attention from the Gators’ skipper as the summer official visit season approaches.
Five-star defensive lineman David Stone out of Bradenton (Florida) IMG Academy has made a few trips to Gainesville in the past but his visit to campus earlier this month was his first in a while. Florida made sure to make him feel welcomed this time around while also giving him a gander at the improvements that have been made in the interim.
“Last time I was there, the facilities were just being built,” Stone told Swamp247 following his May visit. “I got to see it now that it’s all done and built, and it was amazing to me. I had a great time with the coaches, and the energy there seemed to be amazing. We got to watch film together.
“My film, their practices, and showing me how they would use me in their scheme. They like my versatility. They showed me how they would utilize me in different spots. If they can do that, then that is one of the things I enjoyed. The main position for me there is end, and I think that is the best position for me with how my body is. I feel like I can play pretty well off the edge.”
Napier has taken the reins on the rising high school senior’s recruitment of late, reaching out to the prospect’s parents during his last stop while maintaining contact with the recruit himself.
“He texts me all the time, and we actually made a group chat with me, him, and my family. That way we can keep everyone in the loop with everything. It was really cool talking to him. I got a good amount of time around him before he had to leave for a father-daughter dance.
“We had a conversation for a while about everything. I just enjoyed my time around him. He’s really cool. He really tired to get to know me, so he was real genuine. He was asking me questions about my past and about my family. Just trying to find out why I am who I am. That is something that was important to me.
“I am a football player, but there is more to me than just football. He wanted to get to know that side of me. It was probably one of the best conversations I’ve had with a head coach.”
The 6-foot-4-inch, 278-pound lineman has been rumored to have an official visit set with the Gators for the first weekend of June, but according to Swamp247’s Blake Alderman, has not yet set anything in stone. However, Stone assures Alderman that Florida will get the first OV — whenever it may be.
Other schools in the mix for one of the top players in the 2024 cycle are his native state’s Oklahoma Sooners — who hold a massive lead in his recruitment — as well as the Michigan State Spartans, Miami Hurricanes Texas A&M Aggies and Oregon Ducks. The Ohio State Buckeyes and Wisconsin Badgers were also mentioned among possible official visit schools.
Stone is ranked No. 8 overall and No. 2 at his position nationally according to the 247Sports composite while the On3 industry ranking has him at Nos. 10 and 2, respectively. Oklahoma currently has three crustal ball predictions from 247Sports while Michigan State has two, which tracks with the On3 Recruiting Prediction Machine, which has the Sooners with an 80.6% chance of landing him, followed by the Spartans at 15.0%.
247Sports Composite's updated top 25 recruiting rankings for 2024 cycle
Florida football's official visit tracker for June 2023
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