The future stars of Ohio State football officially begin their college careers, as standouts from all over the country put pens to their National Letters of Intent.
Ohio State was the offer Cade Stover had wanted, and the Buckeyes came calling in March of 2017 following a visit to Columbus. The four-star made it back to town about a half dozen times in the coming months while also garnering the attention of other top-tier programs. Michigan, Texas, Oklahoma, and Notre Dame would all go on to offer.
The Stover File
- Class: 2019
- Size: 6-foot-5, 235 pounds
- Pos: LB
- School: Lexington (OH)
- Composite Rating: ★★★★
- Composite Rank: 5 (OLB)
Still, most everyone thought it was just going to be a matter of time until the state's No. 3 prospect committed to the Buckeyes. It took some time, however, as Stover did end up waiting things out a bit longer than most expected. Oklahoma emerged as a somewhat serious threat, but this was never a recruitment that was in doubt by any stretch of the imagination.
Stover made it back to campus in April of this year and announced his commitment to Ohio State about a week later. The country's No. 5 outside linebacker and Ohio's Mr. Football is a true farmboy who has been known to spend hours working in the mornings before heading to football practice in the summer.
His commitment to the Buckeyes was one of the more fitting ones we've seen.
— Cade Stover (@cstov8) April 29, 2018
Stover really did it all for Lexington. As a senior he totaled 175 tackles with 11 tackles for loss. He added a pair of forced fumbles and four interceptions as well. On the other side of the ball, he ran for just about 1,500 yards and found the end zone 18 times.
While he was all over the field in high school, he's certainly expected to play defense in Columbus. The question may now be exactly where does he fit in for the Buckeyes? Listed as an outside linebacker at 6-foot-5 and 235 pounds, there's some speculation that he could grow into more of a defensive end if need be.
Mr. Ohio is staying in Ohio
— Ohio State Football (@OhioStateFB) December 19, 2018
Ohio State has certainly had its struggles at linebacker, so it could be safe to assume that Stover gets looked at as a linebacker first and foremost. The tackling hasn't been great in Columbus, and that is one area where Stover excels. He joins Cleveland's Tommy Eichenberg and Fort Wayne's Craig Young at the position.
With virtually all of the Buckeye backers set to return in 2019, it'll likely be tricky for any of the newcomers to see significant time at the position. However, like many other youngsters, it would hardly be a surprise to see Stover utilized in some capacity on special teams.
Stover will enjoy his final season on the hardwood before enrolling at Ohio State this summer.