Sometimes, numbers do not always tell the whole story of a player's impact on a team. Exemplary of this idea is edge rusher Ron Stone Jr. of the Washington State Cougars.
In the last two seasons, Stone has quietly been one of the most effective pass rushers in the Pac-12 Conference. Though his sack totals may not reflect it, his ability to rush the quarterback has earned him back-to-back All-Pac-12 Conference honors.
In 2021, Stone set career highs in total tackles (64), sacks (5), and tackles for loss (11.5). Though various injuries impeded his production last season, his 14 quarterback hits tied him for second in the conference.
As expected, Stone comes into this season with high expectations. Named to several preseason watch lists, his experience and skillset should result in a career year if injuries do not play a factor.
Even with his part-time gig as a Pac-12 Network player-analyst, Stone is still motivated to help take his team to new heights, which include a spot in this year's conference championship. In the process, he has the chance of emerging as one of the premier pass rushers in his conference, which is an acknowledgement that is long overdue.