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Top-ranked 2021 QB Preston Stone excited about what Tom Herman is building at Texas

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The top-ranked quarterback in the country has his eye on what Herman and the Horns are building in Austin, but Preston Stone has more than a few options from which to choose.

Preston Stone
SB Nation: Joe Hamilton

The most highly sought-after quarterback in the class of 2021 remains to be the Texas Longhorns lone target at the position to this point.

Dallas Parish Episcopal quarterback Preston Stone is coming off a more than impressive sophomore season, as he shredded defenses through the air with over 3,500 passing yards, bolstered by his mobile ability, which produced an additional 444 yards.

All told, Preston found the the end zone a video game-esque 53 times.

With astounding production throughout the course of his first two seasons of varsity football, Stone is eager to improve on last season’s accomplishments and continue to form camaraderie with his teammates to complete one common goal.

“We ended last season with a bad taste in our mouths,” Stone told BON. “We made it to the semis and loss to Bishop Dunne. I think as a team, we’re all dedicated. We’re all in the weight room every morning, trying to get better and hopefully we can get a ring next year.”

The MaxPreps All-American is gearing up to make an even more significant impact these last two years of his high school career. Knowing that he’s able to do it with a group of guys that mean the most to him makes Friday nights a lot more tranquil for the elite passer.

“Well I think the biggest difference for me from my freshman year and this past year was just to go out there and have fun with your brothers,” Stone said when asked about his development as a player over the years. “I’ve only got two more years to play football with some of my best friends before I go off to college. Every time I strap up on Friday nights, I always go out there with a smile on my face. I really think that’s taking a lot of pressure off my shoulders.”

When you flip Stone’s film on, you can’t help but be amazed by the athleticism he possesses. He can easily make something out of nothing because of his awareness to sense pressure and niftiness to escape the pocket when it begins to collapse. Stone’s ability to keep his head on a swivel and have the discipline to keep his eyes downfield while under duress is a trait that verifies the young gunslinger’s supremeness. Stone is equipped with a cannon for an arm and throws a ball that can travel deep downfield, spinning with searing rpm’s. Getting the ball out quick and in a hurry without any unnecessary movements is something that stands out about Stone quarterbacking ability. He’s years ahead of many signal callers his age, especially when it comes to the intangibles.

Dual-threat or pro style, Stone is understanding of what he brings to the table and is gifted enough to torch defenses in multiple ways.

“I would say that I’m a passer that can beat defenses with my legs,” Stone said. “You know, I always try to be a passer first, but when the situation calls for it, I like to say I can beat people with my legs, too. And hopefully I can keep that going through college.”

Coaches at the next level took notice of Stone’s upside early on. With a growing offer sheet that features 40-plus programs programs such as Alabama, Georgia, LSU, Michigan, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Penn State, Texas A&M, and USC, Texas seems to be a school that will be in the running for Stone.

Over a month ago, Stone made his way to Austin for the Longhorns Junior Day and had a wonderful trip. Stone was able to have an in-depth conversation with current Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger and dove deeper into what it’s like being wearing burnt orange as QB1.

Stone believes that Texas is on the brink of becoming a great program.

“They’ve got something special brewing down there,” Stone said. “They finished off with a bang last year, beating Georgia in the Sugar Bowl, so I’m excited to see what they do this year.”

“It was really cool,” Stone added of his visit. “I have a lot of buddies down there. Texas is a really cool place. I got to talk with Sam Ehlinger for a little bit. I got to hear what this past year was like for him. He’s definitely got a lot going for him. I don’t know if there was any more improvement from a quarterback — from his first year to his second year — than Sam Ehlinger. It was really cool to pick his mind a little bit.”

Stone’s relationship with the Texas coaching staff has developed over time, especially with Tom Herman and offensive coordinator Tim Beck. They’ve made multiple stops to Stone’s high school since taking over the Longhorn program. Stone respects that and admires what the staff has done thus far.

“Coach Beck and Coach Herman have both been by Parish a few times,” Stone said. “They’re great guys, you know? They took over the program two years ago and they’ve definitely got some stuff going down there. It’s been exciting to watch them turn the program around.”

With the high volume of spring games happening on the same day, Stone isn’t sure if he’ll be able to make it down to Texas’ spring game next weekend. One date that Stone is looking forward to is April 15, which is the end of the evaluation/quiet period for college coaches. He’ll be looking to converse with these coaches and map out a plan of where he’ll be visiting as the offseason rolls on.

“I’ll be able to talk to the coaches and put together a schedule to see where I’ll be going,” Stone said.

Stone is obviously a priority for Herman and company looking ahead to the 2021 cycle, as he is the only quarterback they’ve offered. Interest between the two parties is certainly mutual. Stone is taking this process slowly and paying close attention to his many options. The Longhorns currently hold each of Stone’s two early Crystal Ball predictions.

At 6’2, 205 pounds, Stone is ranked as the nation’s No. 6 prospect, the No. 1 quarterback in the country, and as the No. 1 player in the state, per the 247Sports Composite rankings.