Four-star 2024 Ohio safety Garrett Stover has had an interesting start to his junior season thus far.
While Stover has been instrumental in helping lead Big Walnut to a 3-0 start, the 6-foot-2, 195-pound prospect dislocated his shoulder and had a slight tear in his labrum in Week 2, but popped his shoulder back in and continued to play. He started for Big Walnut in Week 3 against Beechcroft, but the pain was eventually too much, and he had to recuse himself from the game.
Opting to rest his shoulder, Stover will miss Big Walnut’s matchup against undefeated Delaware Hayes on Friday, but it shouldn’t be a long-term issue and said he expects to be back next week.
“It’s frustrating but I’m getting a lot better, just trying to strengthen it up,” Stover told Eleven Warriors.
While the shoulder injury was the source of some frustration last week, Stover’s trip down Ohio’s I-71 with his family for Ohio State’s season opener against Notre Dame last weekend was anything but.
“Overall it was frickin’ awesome,” Stover said of his experience. “Probably the best game I’ve ever experienced at the Shoe. It was really good and was good to see the new defense and everything. It was exciting to watch them play, I think they flew around and played hard and were physical. I think the whole team has so much energy and that’s what I really like. Just from watching it, the whole atmosphere was amazing and the fanbase was incredible.”
On his visit, Stover talked with Ryan Day both before and after Ohio State’s 21-10 win over Notre Dame.
“Before the game, the biggest thing that impressed me was you just don’t see too many head coaches want to talk to you 15 minutes before the game. I just think that says a lot about the person that Day is and you want that as a coach. He just told me to imagine myself playing there and running out of this tunnel one day.
“Afterward, he was excited about the win and thanked us for coming. He said whenever I want to be a Buckeye, to let him know and everything. He also asked us about how the visit went, it was really good to talk to him.”
Stover also spoke with defensive coordinator Jim Knowles while on his visit.
“I talked to him after the game in the locker room,” he said. “He just said it was great seeing me there and everything. Myself and two other linebackers were standing right there and he was telling us this could be a good trio in action and I thought that was really cool. I was texting with him (Thursday) and he said good luck at my game and told me a big reason why they want me is not only how I can play, but my character and how I handle myself.”
Stover, who has played both linebacker and safety at the high school level, watched both positions in Ohio State’s offense Saturday night and was impressed with what he saw.
“I was dialed in on watching the defense,” Stover said. “Coach Knowles has talked to me about playing linebacker or safety if I ended up choosing Ohio State. I looked at guys like Ronnie Hickman, he’s like a hybrid between safety and linebacker and was doing a lot of different things. He was playing deep, rushing off the edge and playing in the box. A position like that would really fit me as I continue to grow and develop more and get better as a player. Obviously, I really liked watching those linebackers, Tommy Eichenberg really stood out with all the things he does too. It would be a blast to play anywhere on that defense.”
Stover, the cousin of Ohio State tight end Cade Stover, said he was excited to watch Cade start at tight end for the Buckeyes in person.
“I was just really happy to see him out there and finally found a role where he can do a lot of good things for the team,” Stover said. “I think he has a really bright future there at tight end. I thought he played well blocking and he had a couple of catches. I was really happy for him.”
Stover said the only locked-in visit he has for the remainder of his fall is to South Bend, Indiana, for Notre Dame’s contest against Clemson on Nov. 5. But he’d also like to take visits to Cincinnati, Michigan State, Tennessee, Northwestern, Auburn and perhaps a few others if his schedule allows.
He’s also likely to return to Ohio State for more Buckeye games this fall too.
“Definitely,” Stover said. “Just having Ohio State in your backyard, whatever chance you have to go to a game, I’ll definitely take it. There’s a lot of home games left and we’ll definitely get up to one, so we’ll see.”
Gwinn to visit OSU
For obvious reasons, Ohio State won’t have nearly the recruiting visitor pedigree it experienced last weekend against Notre Dame. But there still may be a couple of visitors to keep tabs on nevertheless. One of which is 2025 Ohio quarterback Jaystin Gwinn, who plays for Westerville Central High School.
Gwinn announced he’ll be attending OSU’s game against Arkansas State earlier this week.
The 6-foot-1, 165-pound Gwinn holds offers from Akron and Kentucky thus far. In three games for Westerville Central in his sophomore season, he’s completed 33 of 62 passes for 426 yards with five touchdowns and four interceptions. He’s also racked up 196 rushing yards and a touchdown.
Wilson enjoys his visit to Columbus
“Oh man, it was first class, it was a great weekend,” Wilson’s father Damon told the recruiting network. Unbelievable atmosphere. We had a really good time. Even with all the stuff that we did, the biggest takeaway for me and my family was Coach (Larry) Johnson. You’re probably sitting with The Godfather of defensive ends and so just any time you get to be with him is just a blessing.
Keon Keeley and Damon Wilson, two 5uncommitted DEs and friends at the Ohio State -ND game this weekend. pic.twitter.com/M02GRiiTxN— JanickKeeley (@JaJakeeley) September 5, 2022
“We had some time to spend with him 1-on-1 and break some bread both in the meeting room and dinner, being able for little Damon to talk to him and break down his film and show him some things he can do better and does well. That was a really, really good experience on top of the other great things that were happening.”
After Wilson’s official visit, OSU is believed to be near the top of the Florida prospect’s college choices. A commitment could come by the end of the month, as he has no future visits scheduled for the remainder of the fall.