In a recruiting world that has eighth-graders receiving offers to play college football, Lindell Stone joined the small fraternity Tuesday evening when UCLA offered the 6-foot-2, 190-pound quarterback a scholarship.
Not bad for a Class of 2017 QB who just completed his eighth-grade year at Dawson Middle School in Southlake, Texas. Stone joins a small group of eighth-graders who have earned offers, notably Nathan Tilford (Upland, Calif./Upland), who was offered a scholarship by USC earlier this week, and Dylan Moses (Baton Rouge, La./University Lab), who has offers from Alabama, LSU, Texas and others.
"I'm very grateful right now," Stone said Wednesday. "We're really not focused on recruiting right now. We're more focused on getting on the field at high school and helping a team win a championship, but this is big. It's finally showing how hard I've worked."
Southlake Carroll has a strong tradition of producing high-level quarterbacks, including the New York Jets' Greg McElroy and the Kansas City Chiefs' Chase Daniel. Three-star quarterback Kenny Hill signed with Texas A&M out of Carroll in the Class of 2013.
Stone is a pocket-passing quarterback with a developing arm, and he's someone who has shown he can make solid decisions. He further put himself on the map during the Elite 11 regional competition in San Francisco earlier this spring. While he didn't make the national competition, he earned the respect of the Elite 11 coaches, including head coach Trent Dilfer.
"I think that gave me a little publicity and gave me the opportunity to show my skill set against other high school quarterbacks who are very talented," he said. "It was just a great opportunity to get my name out there."
While Stone said he was excited about the offer, he added it didn't catch him off guard. He and his father, Ted Stone, had been discussing the possibility of the Bruins offering him after his performance in San Francisco.
Lindell Stone said he has yet to speak with a UCLA coach, but his father has been in contact with both offensive line coach/run game coordinator Adrian Klemm and director of football operations Matt Bernstein. Stone added that the UCLA offer holds a lot of weight, as it's a school in which he's always had interest.
"It's a very academically prestigious school, which is what I'm looking for in a college," he said. "It's also got a great football program. To have one of my top schools offer me so early, it's an honor. It's great to see all my hard work paying off in them giving me an opportunity."