On Wednesday, Ohio State defensive line coach Larry Johnson offered the second-ranked defensive lineman in the entire 2024 class.
But that offer hardly came as a shock to five-star Florida prospect David Stone Jr.
“It was pretty exciting,” Stone told Eleven Warriors of his offer. “I was expecting it pretty soon. I’ve been talking with coach Johnson for a while and a lot of the staff came to our school a few times to visit. It was always a matter of whether I’d get down there first or I get the offer (before that). I planned to go last year, but things were difficult and I couldn’t make it. I plan to go sometime in March on a visit, hopefully.”
Stone said he and Johnson spoke for the first time in late August and have been regularly communicating since Sept. 1, when college coaches were able to directly contact high school juniors. After evaluating Stone’s film, Johnson had seen enough to offer the ninth-ranked prospect and second-ranked defensive tackle in 2024 per 247Sports’ composite rankings.
“He said he liked the way I played and how physical I was,” Stone said. “He said he wants me to play the three-technique and the way I get off the ball was extraordinary, things like that.”
While he currently resides in Florida, Stone is well aware of Ohio State’s pedigree and says he watched the Buckeyes often by growing up in Oklahoma.
“I’ve been a fan since I was growing up,” Stone said of the Buckeyes. “I used to watch them on TV, a lot of their games came up in Oklahoma for some reason. I’ve always been a fan of theirs. One of my first games watching them was against Wisconsin sometime in the late 2000s. And then of course with coach Johnson, that’s D-line U. He’s one of the best defensive line coaches in the country.”
The 6-foot-4, 270-pound prospect said he’s a fan of various Ohio State defensive linemen. He’s respected the Bosa brothers, Chase Young, and even current defensive end J.T. Tuimoloau, noting that he’d been watching film of Tuimoloau since Stone was a freshman in high school.
Of course, Ohio State is hardly the only school that has offered Stone. As a five-star prospect, Stone has racked up more than 30 Division I offers, including from the likes of Michigan State, Oklahoma, Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Baylor, Colorado, Florida, Florida State, Iowa State, Kentucky, Louisville, LSU, Michigan, Notre Dame, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Texas A&M, USC and Wisconsin.
“I’d say my physicality and the effort I give,” Stone said of what makes him an elite prospect. “I give effort pretty much every play, so even if I lose a rep during a game, I’m losing going 100 percent.
“But I really don’t lose too often,” Stone added with a laugh.
Stone said he’d start evaluating his offers again soon, but that Ohio State is “easily top two.” Other top schools for Stone include Oklahoma and Michigan State, which Stone recently visited last weekend.
“My relationships with the coach,” Stone said about the biggest factors in his recruitment. “If I can trust them to develop me as a player and a man, I’m going to excel on and off the field as well.”
Stone wasn’t the only IMG Academy (Bradenton, Florida) product that Johnson offered Wednesday, as they also offered defensive tackle Jayden Jackson.
“Jayden and I have been talking about that offer for a while because that’s somewhere where we could possibly go together. That’s our goal, we wanna play together at the next level. We’ve dominated here, they can’t block both of us. So we plan on playing together in college. That’s one place that can make it happen.”
Jackson agrees with Stone’s sentiment and would also like to play with his high school teammate in college, if possible.
“David Stone is my boy,” Jackson said. “I’d definitely want to team up with him at the next level, whether it’s at Ohio State or somewhere else.”
Ohio State figures to be a big player for David Stone in his recruitment and will host him on a visit, likely in March.
“I want to see how the team bonds together,” Stone said. “I want to see how close they are with each other and what’s the atmosphere like. I want to see if it’s a true family up there.”