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With the 2021 season behind them and almost an entire complement of coaches, the Oklahoma staff has shifted to finishing out their 2022 classes while beginning to build their 2023 and 2024 classes. The Sooners have already shown a strong desire to keep the best in-state kids in Oklahoma, offering guys Erik McCarty and Bai Jobe of late. The big fish is the number one ranked player in Oklahoma for the 2024 class in David Stone.
— David Stone (@stonedagr8) January 2, 2022
Stone is already considered a top talent in the country, currently No. 55 in 247Sports’ rankings for the class of 2024. The Sooners recently re-offered him a scholarship under the new regime led by the defensive wizard and now Sooners head coach Brent Venables.
With the Sooners re-affirming their desire to have Stone in their 2024 class, it makes him a major recruiting priority as he’s a local in-state kid. Oklahoma can’t afford to let great defensive line players leave the state. As they begin to reshape their roster and prepare for their inevitable move to the SEC, being great on the line of scrimmage is a priority.
Stone already stands 6-foot-3 and weighs around 255 pounds. With two more years of high school, he’ll continue to grow.
It won’t be easy by any stretch for Oklahoma as teams like Texas, Texas A&M, and SMU have entered the fray. SMU typically may not mean much to a recruiting battle involving the Sooners, but this is different.
Calvin Thibodeaux, the Sooners former defensive line coach, was the one that offered Stone at SMU. Venables did not retain Thibodeaux, and it looks like his replacement is set to be announced sooner rather than later. However, Thibodeaux had already laid a nice foundation with Stone. He likely feels like he can still reel in the talented prospect despite switching jobs.
Thibodeaux has come into his own as a coach and recruiter, and who knows what other major programs also get into the mix for the services of this potential five-star defensive linemen. With Todd Bates reportedly coming over from Clemson to Oklahoma to be the defensive line coach and co-defensive coordinator, this sets the stage for a nail-biting battle for Stone. To put it plainly, Todd Bates is simply one of the best defensive line coaches in the country at development and with recruiting.
One thing’s for sure, Oklahoma should have themselves in a position to win this recruiting battle. Still, it certainly won’t be easy, and it will undoubtedly be something to keep watching over the next few years.