Recruiting within state lines was one of Urban Meyer’s goals. Before the legendary coach retires, he can say that he did just that in the 2019 class, as the Ohio State Buckeyes secured the National Letter of Intent from Mansfield’s four-star linebacker Cade Stover — the 2018 Ohio Mr. Football.
Graded by 247sports as the No. 5 outside linebacker in this cycle, the Bucks had to fend off some notable programs. Luke Fickell’s Cincinnati Bearcats were in the mix for Stover, as were the College Football Playoff bound Oklahoma Sooners. However, both programs failed to flip the 6-foot-5, 235-pound prospect.
Stover had been committed to OSU since April 29, less than 10 days after making an official visit to Columbus. You could believe that his recruitment to Ohio State was sealed right then and there, as he took an Oklahoma official visit a week before making the trek to see the Buckeyes.
[Scouting Report]Cade Stover is the definition of a Greg Schiano linebacker. He’s a long, 6-foot-4, 225 pounder, with a ton of speed (4.65 40 time) and a serious disdain for the ball carrier. He’s a violent hitter that finds his way into the backfield with ease. He’s a natural pass rusher, and an absolute handful for offensive linemen
He excels at shredding blocks, and knows how to use his hands effectively to get clear shots at the running back, quarterback, or anyone else unfortunate enough to have the ball near him. He plays safety, linebacker, defensive end and quarterback for his high school team, and is capable of playing in coverage, though I expect he’ll likely end up at outside linebacker or defensive end for Ohio State.
He needs to add weight to play either of those positions at the next level, but he has the frame and athleticism to play a very similar style to Darron Lee if he ends up at linebacker, or Sam Hubbard if they want him on the line. He’s not the most technically sound pass-rusher at this point, but if Ohio State wants him on the edge, Larry Johnson will get him right very quickly.
Wherever Stover plays, Ohio State is getting a high-motor player that loves to hit, and never gives up on the play. That’s exactly what they want.
Below are some of the highlights from Stover’s junior season, as posted on his Hudl page.