Inked: Four-Star Wide Receiver Alex Stump, of Lakewood, Ohio, is Officially a Buckeye

By Jeremy Birmingham on February 4, 2015 at 7:11 am
Alex Stump is officially a Buckeye

The future stars of Ohio State football officially begin their Buckeye careers today as standouts from all over the country put pens to their National Letters of Intent. Signing Day is here.

Eleven Warriors would like to officially welcome Alex Stump to the Ohio State football program.

The Stump File

  • Class 2015
  • Position WR
  • Size 6-3/195
  • School St. Edward (Lakewood, OH)
  • Composite ★★★★
  • Rank 37 (WR)

When you grow up in Ohio and you play football in Ohio, playing for the Ohio State Buckeyes is the dream. Very few of the thousands who play high school football in the Buckeye state ever receive a scholarship offer from any Division One college football program and fewer still get the call from the state's bell cow program. 

Alex Stump was lucky to play big-time high school football and luckier still to be one of the state's best players, and he knew it. After a breakout junior season (57 catches for 987 yards and 14 touchdowns) Stump received his first scholarship offer, from Akron, in early March. After the Zips, Bowling Green, Kent State, Yale and Harvard quickly followed suit; proving that Stump's skill-set extended from the gridiron into the classroom. A week later, the University of Kentucky offered and as the first offer from a "Power Five" conference, it held special significance to Stump. He visited Kentucky two weeks later and they immediately vaulted into the lead to land the country's 37th-ranked wide receiver. 

Stump, who had grown up following the Buckeyes, seemed to be getting little to no interest from them and after a busy April, he committed to Kentucky.  He told Bill Landis from the Northeast Media Group that he'd been thinking about a verbal since he received the offer from the Wildcats.

“I’ve been thinking about it for over a month,” Stump said in May. “I’m with my whole family. I felt it was the right time. The big thing is they got to me early... that was huge for a school like Kentucky, an SEC football program, seeing me that early.”

Ohio State saw Stump, and they liked him, but what they wanted to see was Stump in person, at camp, for in-person evaluation. Stump for his part, stood on the strength of his word, his commitment to Wildcats meant he would not audition for another school, even if it was the school of his dreams. Still, he couldn't help but think about the chances that might be passing him by. In the meantime, he found the time to become a quasi-television star in the hallways of St. Edward's.

The summer passed and Stump turned down Ohio State's camp invitations multiple times, refusing the opportunity to impress the Buckeyes face-to-face. As Lakewood St. Edward's early season schedule put them on national TV, the Buckeyes were able to get their chance to see Stump in live-action. They were impressed. Two weeks later Ohio State offered the 6-foot-3 wide receiver after he and his family left a visit to Columbus.

"I'm very excited about the offer," the Lakewood St. Ed's standout told 11W. "It's an honor to be offered by Ohio State. Right now, we're just going to take our time with things and talk it over."

The items to be discussed was how Stump, who now had an opportunity to realize a life-long dream, would handle the Ohio State offer. Would he immediately commit? Would he stick with the Wildcats who had been "early" in recognizing his talents? The plan for Stump was to wait, fully examine all his options and then make a well-thought out decision. When a season-ending foot injury occurred — the night before the Buckeyes offered — there was suddenly much more time to analyze. 

On October 12th, Stump decided it was time to see his lifelong goal come true.

The decision was not an easy one, as Stump explained to 11W when he committed. 

"I have so much respect for Kentucky, the guys I've gotten to know through my recruitment, their coaches and everyone associated with their program, and now I've got a couple of teammates going there too," he said. "They believed in me from the start, and I appreciate that they gave me the opportunity. Letting coach (Mark) Stoops know I was changing my decision was incredibly difficult, because he's done so much for me. I hope they'll respect what I've got to do and why. They are going to continue to see big things coming their way and I'll always root for them. This was not an easy decision, and I know people thought that it was going to be."

Recovering from his foot injury, Stump continues to focus on the next steps towards his future. Watching his teammates on their road to a state championship proved a difficult, but perspective-providing path.

"It is very hard to watch my team, but all that matters is we keep winning," Stump said. "As long as we are winning I am happy. Everything is healing the way it is supposed to. Now it is all about doing the things necessary to get to 100 percent as soon as possible."

Now a Buckeye, Stump's next challenge will prove to be his biggest: making sure the reality of donning the Scarlet and Gray is even more rewarding than the chase to get here.

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