Preston Stone tries to remain humble, even if his talent and pedigree suggest plenty of reasons to brag.
The eighth-grader at Highland Park Middle School has already received an NCAA Division I scholarship offer from the University of Nevada and been invited to camps with top signal-callers from around the state. And he hasn’t even taken a high school snap yet.
Those who watch YouTube highlights of Stone carving up middle-school defenses with his arm and his feet say he makes football look easy.
“That’s what a lot of people tell me when they watch my highlight video, but I don’t play with that mindset,” Stone said. “There are other people working just as hard as I do.”
Stone first put on pads in kindergarten, and by second grade he became a quarterback, a position he hasn’t switched from since then. He works on his skills regularly with former NFL quarterback Tony Banks.
Already standing 6-feet-2 and 175 pounds, he shares some characteristics with his oldest brother, Lindell, who will graduate this spring from Woodberry Forest School in Virginia. Lindell has signed with the University of Virginia, where he will be teammates with Highland Park defensive lineman Matt Gahm in the fall.
Like Preston, Lindell is a dual-threat quarterback who became a top college prospect before he even sniffed a varsity roster, although the younger sibling notes some differences in their styles.
“We compete with each other. We bring out each other’s fire. I’ve always kind of wanted to be like him,” Preston said. “I try and play a lot like him, and I also try to play like the guys I see on Saturdays and Sundays.”
The middle sibling, Parker, is a receiver at Woodberry Forest. Together they became the first family with three siblings in the elite USA Football youth program, which promotes the sport at an international level.
As for Nevada? Preston is the first Texas player from the high school class of 2021 to receive an offer from a Football Bowl Subdivision school. Despite that, he’s trying to remain grounded.
“It definitely puts a target on my back. That just fuels me a little more,” he said. “There’s some kid at home reading online that I got an offer, and that gives them motivation. I can’t let it get to my head.”
Meanwhile, Preston said his focus isn’t on recruiting, but on preparing for high school football just a few months down the road.
“It’s going to be a huge step up playing high school football,” Preston said. “I’ll just be a freshman, but it doesn’t mean I need to play like a freshman.”