By MIKE MOGUIN
GTR Sports Writer
When Oklahoma State is in action, Dillon Stoner is among the key weapons in the Cowboy offense.
The Jenks wide receiver/punt returner has impacted the team as a dangerous weapon during his career and is a three-time Big 12 All-Academic selection. He was a captain last season and was also Honorable Mention All-Big 12 and won the Vernon Grant Award for leadership, spirit and enthusiasm. Of course, he is expected to be a potent threat as a senior in the 2020 campaign.
“It’s been an awesome ride so far,” Stoner said. “I know I didn’t get here on my own. I had a bunch of people help me out along the way. I don’t look at all the success as my own, I look at it as a testament to the people I surround myself with as well.”
When asked about what it’s like to play for Mike Gundy, he sees him as a players’ coach.
“He keeps everything exciting and light,” Stoner said. “I can’t imagine my college career going any better than it has been.”
Of course, there is no denying Stoner acquired his skills by playing at a prominent high school power in Jenks.
“I think the high school football program, the coaching is second to none,” Stoner said. “I was beyond blessed to play for Coach (Allan) Trimble, along with Coach Bryant Calib. Both of those guys are unfortunately no longer with us, but beyond blessed is an understatement. Those are two great football coaches and even better men, so what I’ve learned from them along with the rest of the coaching staff, when I was there, Coach (Dub) Maddox (now assistant at Union), (current Jenks head) Coach (Keith) Riggs, the list continues, I don’t think I would be where I am without having the coaching and the men that I’d been around when I was at Jenks.”
Trimble passed away last December after a long battle against ALS. Calip succumbed after a lengthy battle with cancer on June 4.
“Those are two guys who a lot of people looked up to and admired and to have them cut short like that from two awful diseases, it’s heartbreaking,” Stoner said. “But I do find peace that they don’t have to deal with it anymore and there is a better place right now.”
One former Trojan teammate is also at OSU — Brett Standlee — who is having success with the baseball team. Stoner says he keeps in touch with him, but not as much as he would like.
“I definitely keep up with him with his success,” Stoner said. “So it’s been fun to see him tearing it up at the college level.”
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Stoner is hopeful there will be a season this fall.
He did say that having spring practice cut short was frustrating.
“Maybe there at the beginning, it was nice to have a little break,” he said. “But now everyone is chomping at the bit to get back and we’re ready.”
Oklahoma State is expected to contend for the Big 12 championship this season.
“I think it could be (a big year) for sure,” Gundy said. “We got a lot of big-time players coming back. It’s been awesome to play with guys who are as awesome as (another wide receiver) Tylan (Wallace) and (running back) Chuba (Hubbard) and watching (quarterback) Spencer (Sanders) play more as he grows has been awesome. I’m hoping for the best this season as far as being able to play. But if everything goes as planned. I think we’ll have a very successful year.”
One thing for sure, playing college football has been exciting for Stoner.
“The Bowl games are always a great experience,” he said. “Practicing at different stadiums is exciting. I think all the bowl games have been a lot of fun. One of the biggest things for me is just building the relationships with guys on the team. Some of my best friends are guys that I’ve met here and I’m very thankful for that. Best experience so far is getting to know guys that I normally wouldn’t.”