Could the state of Michigan be on the verge of landing its first five-star project of the Mel Tucker era?
It certainly looks like things are headed in that direction after five-star IMG Academy defender David Stone made his second trip to East Lansing in three weeks, this time with Bradenton (Fla.). his family.
In the Class of 2024, Stone is considered #9 overall prospect, #2 defender, and #3 Florida state, according to the 247Sports Composite rankings. If Michigan State landed him, Stone would be the second tallest player ever signed with the Spartans, behind only legendary receiver Charles Rogers.
While there is still work to be done, the state of Michigan is in an excellent position in the Stone recruitment battle. After his recent visit to East Lansing, the Oklahoma native told On3 Sports, “OU is like where I’m from, but Michigan State feels like home.”
This most recent visit allowed Stone to have his first interactions with Diron Reynolds, Michigan State’s new defensive line coach, whom Mel Tucker hired last week. Pass-rush specialist Brandon T. Jordan remains the Spartans’ primary recruit for Stone, however, and he’s done a terrific job of making the five-star East Lansing hotel feel right at home.
On December 23, Stone included Michigan State in his “Top 10” along with Oklahoma, Texas A&M, USC, LSU, Oregon, Alabama, Miami, Tennessee and Florida. However, Ohio State also recently entered the mix for the five-star hotel after the Buckeyes offered a scholarship on Jan. 11.
Still, the overbearing favorites at the moment appear to be the Sooners and Spartans. 247Sports still lists Oklahoma as the “crystal ball” favorite for Stone’s recruitment, but their two most recent predictions both favor the Spartans. Meanwhile, following that recent visit, On3 Sports now lists Michigan State as favorites to land Stone.
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This news was greeted with delight by the Spartans’ senior recruit from Class 2023, four-star EDGE rusher Bai Jobe, also from Oklahoma and a close friend of Stone’s.
This weekend’s visit was Stone’s fourth visit to the state of Michigan in the last calendar year. His first visit to East Lansing was in July during the Spartan Dawn Con event. A return visit followed on Oct. 15 for the Spartans’ homecoming game against Wisconsin before Stone’s last two visits in January.
Each of these four trips to the state of Michigan is considered an “unofficial visit,” meaning the recruit was financially responsible for paying for the visit himself. High school recruits are allowed five “official visits” paid for by the university during their recruitment.
Stone recently told On3 Sports that the state of Michigan had asked it to be his last “official visit,” which the five-star star agreed to. Being a recruit’s last official visit is usually a great benefit to interested parties.
Michigan State got off to a strong start with its 2024 recruit class, currently ranked 15th statewide. The Spartans have verbal commitments from a trio of four-star prospects — River Rouge (Michigan) wide receiver Nick March (No. 74 player overall), Westland Hialeah (Fla.) cornerback Jamari Howard (No. 166) and Murfreesboro (Tenn .) Cornerback Jaylen Thompson (No. 261).
Spartan Nation will continue to monitor the development of Michigan State’s pursuit of five-star star DL David Stone.