It’s no secret that defensive line is crucial to winning in the SEC. Although Tennessee football has a pretty solid unit on that front, they can always upgrade, and they definitely need help for the future. Well, the Vols are closer to receiving that in one lineman for 2024.
David Stone, a five-star on 247Sports, 247Sports Composite and ON3 Consensus and a four-star everywhere else, has the Vols in his top 10. Originally from Oklahoma City, Okla., Stone attends IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., an area where Josh Heupel has connections.
Joining Tennessee football on Stone’s list are the Oklahoma Sooners, Florida Gators, Miami Hurricanes, Alabama Crimson Tide, LSU Tigers, Texas A&M Aggies, USC Trojans, Oregon Ducks and Michigan State Spartans. His list was announced by Hayes Fawcett of ON3 Friday.
Where should I go? https://t.co/zzdEEwX7Fm
— David “Stoney” Stone Jr. (@iamdavidstonejr) December 23, 2022
Standing in the range of 6’4″ and 6’5″ while weighing in the range of 255 to 285 pounds, Stone is listed as a defensive tackle on Rivals and ESPN. He is a defensive lineman overall on 247Sports and ON3, but this is the profile of a defensive tackle in Tim Banks’ system.
The Vols can use more hybrid defensive tackles, those who play the role in the middle and on the end, with LaTrell Bumphus leaving. Kurott Garland will be out of eligibility next year too, and Omari Thomas could be gone, so a guy like Stone could be a big pickup.
After missing out on Walter Nolen a year ago, they need more dominant defensive tackles going forward, especially for Banks to have more flexibility with his linebackers. That was an issue for UT at times over the past year.
Currently, Michigan State is the majority favorite on the Rivals Future Cast. However, OU is the overwhelming majority favorite on the Rivals Fan Future Cast, the 247Sports Crystal Ball and ON3. As a result, Tennessee football has work to do to land him, but they have time, and Heupel does have the connections.