Oklahoma football: Welcome to David Stone week in Sooner recruiting

David Stone, IMG Academy defensive lineman
David Stone, IMG Academy defensive lineman /

You know what they say about putting all of you eggs in one basket, but that fairly well describes the situation around the Oklahoma football recruitment of 2024 five-star defensive tackle David Stone.

The 6-foot, 4-inch, 270-pound Stone has been a top target for the Sooners ever since Brent Venables arrived back on the scene in Norman a couple of years ago. A top defensive coach and recruiter for the past two decades, Venables knew about Stone and his potential prior to returning to OU. You can bet the heavily recruited Stone would have been on Venables radar at Clemson, which has a reputation of landing and developing NFL-quality defensive linemen.

Stone, who as you might imagine has received offers from a large number of major programs, has pretty well narrowed the list down to three schools: Oklahoma, Michigan State and Miami. He is scheduled to announce his commitment choice this Saturday (Aug. 26).

Three major recruiting services (247Sports, Rivals and On3) favor the Sooners to land Stone’s commitment, but no one knows better than Oklahoma fans how such forecasts can take dramatic turns in the final few days and hours leading up to a public announcement.

Last December, Oklahoma was widely favored in the recruitment of 2023 five-star DL David Hicks. In fact, it was reported that Hicks had privately committed to the Sooner coaches, but on the day he made his formal announcement, he surprised many people, especially those in the Sooner Nation, by donning the Texas A&M hat as he declared his commitment decision.

And then last week, it was deja vu all over again, when another five-star 2024 defensive line prospect, Williams Nwaneri, who since early this year was widely believed headed to OU and indicated as much, saying that the relationship he had with the Oklahoma coaches was the best of all his recruiting visits, committed to his home-state team, the Missouri Tigers.

So you can understand why Sooner fans are a little skittish about which way the winds will be blowing and what they will hear from Stone on Saturday.

Stone is currently at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida, but he is from Oklahoma and grew up rooting for the Sooners. The Florida connection, however, has made the No. 3 defensive lineman in the class and the No. 10 player overall nationally, a prime target also for the Miami Hurricanes and the Florida Gators. And if you place stock in social media narratives, Miami, a school with all kinds of NIL influence, has been picking up momentum in the recent recruitment of Stone.

There is little question that landing Stone would be a huge pickup for the Sooners, who already have a 2024 commitment from his IMG teammate and fellow defensive lineman, Jayden Jackson.

As important as the Stone announcement is, it isn’t expected to be the only news from the recruiting trail this week of interest to Oklahoma. Three-star QB/athlete Andy Bass, out if Heritage Hall High School in Oklahoma City, is scheduled to make a commitment announcement on Thursday (Aug. 24). Bass is being recruited by DeMarco Murray, which makes it appear the Sooners are looking at the local prospect as a running back. OU is a heavy favorite for Bass’ commitment, but he also has interest from others.

Also on the immediate horizon is a commitment announcement from four-star OU defensive-end target Nigel Smith II. The Smith is from Melissa, Texas, and is listed by 247Sports as the No. 19 defensive lineman in the 2024 class and the No. 115 player overall. The Sooners are believed to be in the lead for Smith, although he also is being heavily pursued by the likes of Texas, Texas A&M and Ohio State among others. Smith is set to announce on Sept. 8.

If Oklahoma is successful in getting a commitment from both Stone and Smith, it will give them two highly rated D-lineman in a class that is heavy with defensive prospects and currently ranked 14th nationally by Rivals and 15th by 247Sports.