Oklahoma football: 2024 signees who will make the biggest impact as freshmen

Brent Venables brought an SEC-caliber recruiting class to Norman, but will he have a team that is good enough to compete next season? Which freshmen will be big contributors for the Sooners?
IMG Academy High School senior David Stone (90)
IMG Academy High School senior David Stone (90) / Doug McSchooler/for IndyStar / USA TODAY
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After the win in the Red River Rivalry, it appeared as though Brent Venables was going to have the Oklahoma football program firing on all cyclinders at it departed the Big 12 for the SEC this offseason.

Instead, the Sooners limped to the finish line of the season at 10-2 with losses to Kansas and Oklahoma State, and don’t look ready for a 2024 schedule that includes LSU, Alabama, Ole Miss, Texas, Missouri, Tennessee, and Auburn. 

For Venables to truly establish Oklahoma in the SEC and his job at Oklahoma he’ll need a big year. The Sooners have added some talent in the transfer portal, but he’ll need to build from the trenches with highly-rated freshmen and have the best players in his 2024 class contribute right away. 

The Sooners got through signing day with the No. 9 class in the country, but which players from that class are actually going to help the 2024 team as freshmen?

. . Bradenton, FL. David Stone. DL. OU David Stone. 5-star. David Stone. player. 464

The obvious answer to the question is Oklahoma’s only five-star recruit. David Stone is a 6-foot-4 275-pound interior defensive lineman who was the 19th ranked player in the country and can fit various roles on Oklahoma’s defensive line. 

The Sooners ranked 80th in total defense in 2023 and were 60th against the run. They’ll need to win a lot of shootouts unless they improve tremendously on that side of the ball. Stone is the type of player that could enable that development for Venables’ unit. 

Ethan Downs, an edge rusher, led Oklahoma with 28 pressure last season, which ranked 133rd in the country. The Sooners didn’t have a dominant rusher, but Stone could be that from the interior, which would change the geometry of their defense. 

If Stone does fulfill his potential, he’ll allow Oklahoma to be much more stout against the run and apply more pressure on the quarterback, without expending additional resources to the line of scrimmage.