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Sports >  WSU football

Washington State edge Ron Stone Jr. named Pac-12’s defensive lineman of the week

Nov. 1, 2021 Updated Mon., Nov. 1, 2021 at 7:55 p.m.

Washington State defensive end Ron Stone Jr. was named the Pac-12’s top defensive lineman of the week on Monday for his performance in the Cougars’ 34-21 win over Arizona State on Saturday.  (Associated Press)
Washington State defensive end Ron Stone Jr. was named the Pac-12’s top defensive lineman of the week on Monday for his performance in the Cougars’ 34-21 win over Arizona State on Saturday. (Associated Press)
By Colton Clark The Spokesman-Review

Washington State’s Ron Stone Jr. had another impactful performance in what’s shaping up to be a stellar junior campaign, and for his work in the Cougars’ defense-driven rout of Arizona State, the spirited edge rusher was named the Pac-12’s defensive lineman of the week Monday.

“I’ve got a lot of respect for R.J. and what he does, because he does it his way,” WSU interim coach Jake Dickert said Monday. “At the same time, he works his tail off. He wants coaching, he wants critique because he wants to get better. He’s set a high bar for himself. I’m really happy for his success.

“Whether other people are taking notice, we can’t worry about that. But the film speaks for itself.”

Stone posted a sack, two tackles for loss, a fumble recovery and six tackles (four solo) in WSU’s 34-21 win over ASU on Saturday in Tempe. He played a key role in the Cougs’ success containing mobile Sun Devil quarterback Jayden Daniels.

The 6-foot-3, 240-pounder made four run stops near the line of scrimmage.

He jumped on a loose ball – popped free by linebacker Kyle Thornton and cornerback Derrick Langford Jr. – late in the second quarter, setting up a touchdown that put WSU up 28-0. The Cougar defense forced a season-high five takeaways.

Stone, who hails from San Jose, California, ranks second in the Pac-12 with 10.5 tackles for loss and sits in a tie for third in sacks with 5.5.

He is Pro Football Focus’ highest-graded Cougar player this season, per Cougfan.com.

“Consistency – that’s the first thing I hear and know (about Stone),” Dickert said. “R.J. deserves everything he’s getting because he’s operating within a team concept.

“He’s an emotional leader for us, he’s obviously a vocal leader for us. Everybody knows that. … This guy works hard. This guy has been playing a little bit banged up. He’s given his teammates everything he has.”

Fellow WSU edge rusher Brennan Jackson took home the same award in weeks 5 and 7. WSU is the only team with three Pac-12 D-lineman of the week honors this season.

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