OU freshman David Stone’s plan to go from five-star recruit to neurosurgeon

OU freshman David Stone’s plan to go from five-star recruit to neurosurgeon

Stone is majoring in biology but only because OU didn’t offer neuroscience to undergrads.

Jenni Carlson

By Jenni Carlson

| Mar 17, 2024, 7:00am CDT

Jenni Carlson

By Jenni Carlson

Mar 17, 2024, 7:00am CDT

NORMAN — David Stone is used to being videotaped.

It comes with the territory of a big-time football player.

But one day recently, the OU defensive lineman was the one eagerly pulling out his cell phone and doing the taping.

The subject: an organelle is his biology lab.

“There was this organelle that we had, and it gave birth on camera, which it wasn’t really supposed to,” Stone said.

“Everyone in class was going crazy about it.”

Sure seems to be way more to Stone than football.

And that’s saying something; as far as young college football players go, he is as ballyhooed as they come. 

As OU rolls deeper into spring practice, Stone is the newbie who fans are most curious about. The 6-foot-4 behemoth is from Del City, but after spending his last two seasons of high school football at IMG Academy, he became the top defensive line prospect in the nation. A five-star talent. A top-five recruit overall.

How will he fit with the Sooner defense?

How much will the true freshman play?

OU coach Brent Venables has high hopes for Stone as well as fellow IMG alum Jayden Jackson.

“If they’re willing to continue to be committed to becoming contributors, if that commitment remains through the course of the spring and the summer and fall camp, all that kind of thing, then I know they’ll have a chance to be contributors for us,” Venables said.

“That’s the expectation. That’s the hope. I think that makes us better.”

If Stone plays a significant role or even starts next fall, it wouldn’t be unprecedented. Tommie Harris started every game on the Sooner defensive line when he was a true freshman, but being a starting lineman on either side of the ball as a first-year college player is no easy task. The play is physical, the pounding severe.

Even great linemen don’t always play as freshmen. Gerald McCoy didn’t. Creed Humphrey didn’t either, if you want to look at the offensive line. Both became All-Americans and NFL stalwarts.

So, if Stone plays a lot this fall, don’t overlook how special it is.

It’ll be even more impressive since OU will be in its first year in the SEC.

But it’s what Stone expects.

“I can contribute to the team early,” he said, adding that he’s already over 280 pounds with a goal of 300 as long as he can maintain his speed and explosiveness. “I know that the coaches here can develop me to the player that I want to be and get me ready for the NFL if that day becomes possible. That’s my end goal.”

But ask him what he hopes to accomplish in the next few years, and his focus isn’t only on the field.

“Just getting my degree,” he said of his goals. “That’s one thing that I’m looking forward to being able to do.

“I have plans to go to med school, and so academics are very big for me.”

You read that right: Mr. Five-Star wants to be a doctor.

“I want to become a neurosurgeon,” he said. “That’s my goal. Going to med school is something I’m very serious about.”

Stone had hoped to major in neuroscience, but OU doesn’t offer it as an undergraduate option. He opted instead for biology, and even though he wasn’t sure he’d enjoy it, he has loved it so far.

That lab with the pregnant organelle stands as a highlight.

“I had gotten it out of the tank,” he said, “and I noticed that, OK, it was pregnant at the start of our experiment. I noticed that the egg is getting bigger.”

Stone looked up how long the lifespan of the organelle was, and since it was only a couple of weeks, he figured the organelle might give birth in a day or two.

“But as the lab went further on, I could notice that the baby was starting to move around and she started to contract,” he said. “So it was probably a 20-minute window of us just waiting for it to happen. We were switching phones out, recording it. It ended up giving birth on camera right before everyone left.”

Stone smiled.

“It was a fun time.”

Safe to say, David Stone is more than meets the eye. Maybe he’ll be the next Myron Rolle, who was an All-American at Florida State in the late 2000s, was selected as a Rhodes Scholar, then became a neurosurgeon after a short, unremarkable stint in the NFL.

Or maybe Stone will do it better and have a long, successful career in the NFL before becoming a neurosurgeon.

One thing you can say for sure, Stone is much more than a football player.

“Hopefully, I could take the MCAT sometime in college,” he said of the standardized test for med school admission, “but I’m pretty far ahead as far as … credit hours. I feel like I could graduate probably in three years, maybe two if I just rush. But I don’t have to be in a rush because I am one semester ahead of everyone else.”

Apparently, academics is yet another area where David Stone is a five-star.

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Jenni Carlson is a columnist with the Sellout Crowd network. Follow her on Twitter at @JenniCarlson_OK. Email [email protected].

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