Cade Stover had a tough decision to make.
With national outlets projecting him to go somewhere between the second and fourth rounds in this year's upcoming NFL draft, Stover had to weigh whether or not another year at Ohio State could help boost his draft stock.
Ultimately, he decided the answer was yes, as the 6-foot-4, 255-pound Mansfield, Ohio, product decided to return to Ohio State for another season on Monday, extending his Buckeyes career.
I AM COMING BACK.— Cade Stover (@cstov8) January 9, 2023
Dating back to the spring, Stover wasn't even practicing at tight end, as he played the Buckeyes' final game of 2021 at linebacker and went into spring practice of 2022 thinking he had found a permanent home. But Stover switched back to tight end halfway through spring football, eventually becoming the heir apparent to Jeremy Ruckert for the Buckeyes' offense in 2022. In 13 games for the Buckeyes this season, Stover caught 36 passes for 406 yards with five touchdown catches.
He had multiple games this season with two touchdown catches, doing just that against Indiana and Wisconsin earlier this season. His season ended in the College Football Playoff semifinal against Georgia on New Year's Eve, as he made a single catch for seven yards before being transferred to the local hospital with back spasms after attempting to hurdle a defender.
With Stover returning, new tight ends coach Keenan Bailey can breathe a little easier, as tight end becomes less of a question mark for the Buckeyes in 2023 than it would have had Stover declared for the NFL draft.
Gee Scott Jr., Joe Royer, Sam Hart and Bennett Christian are tight ends already on OSU’s roster that will all be vying to earn bigger roles next season, while the Buckeyes also signed four-star Georgia prospect Jelani Thurman, who will join the fold next season as the second-ranked tight end in the 2023 recruiting class per 247Sports' composite rankings.