A few days ago, I had a chance to talk with Lexington’s junior linebacker, Cade Stover. Something that I have wanted to do for a while now, but the timing was never right. I believe that the timing has to be right.
I have done articles on Cade before. In fact I saw him his freshman year playing varsity basketball at Ashland High School. A physically mature freshman.
In fact, I have seen him playing hoops more often than playing football. I would guess basketball is his favorite sport, with football a really, really close second. Cade is smart enough to see the “big picture.” He has the potential to be a very good college linebacker.
Physicality has never been a weakness for him. I remember Michael Warren’s comments after Toledo Central Catholic beat Lexington his sophomore year. Michael was one the toughest tackle to tackle runners that I have seen in high school football. His comment. “That is the hardest that I have been hit all year.”
Cade is, I guess you could say, just a good- old farm boy who loves hanging around home with his family. By the way, his parents do have a large farm. His dad was a BGSU football player, and I remember writing about him in his playing days at Big Walnut HS.
This year Cade is playing linebacker, but will move all over the field. Offenses will have to know where he is lined-up. He is at his best coming down hill or coming off the edge. Really like his burst. Like his ability to get through traffic to make plays. He finishes !
Last year he played quarterback for the Minutemen. Out of necessity to help the team. Best athlete at QB. Problem was his focus had to be at QB. This year, I am guessing, he will play some TE on offense. Focus – defense.
Guessing 6’3-6’4, but I was always concerned about his weight. No problem. Told me that he was up to 230. Does not look it. Really could see him sliding inside to play a mike backer. Believe that he will begin his career at O-State on the outside.
Also had some concern about his overall speed and ability to change to direction. Needs to improve in both areas. But I was watching him go through drills with OSU linebacker Coach Davis at the OSU camp, and he looked good. One thing for sure – he did not lack for effort! If truth be known, he surprised OSU coaches with his agility. Obviously, he has to get better, but will.
Committed to the Buckeyes. Cade’s biggest challenge will be to continue to get better and better. Toughness, of course, is there. Needs to be very focused on improving quickness and agility. During basketball season, he needs to maintain strength and size. Football is pretty serious at O-State. (humor)
I have seen way too many high profile recruits read about themselves on message boards, read too many recruiting reporters’ comments, get caught up in all star games in either Florida or Texas, eat too much banquet food, and actually start thinking that they are much better than they really are.
When I rank high school football players in Ohio, I believe it is important to talk with them. Not about visits. Not about favorite colleges. Not about opponents. Not about offers. Not about making a commitment.
I like to know them as a person. What makes them “tick.” Do they have the “it” factor? Are they focused? Are they a good teammate? What about mom and dad?
Cade Stover is MSR’s top recruit in the Ohio Class of 2019. Really like how his ” competitive maturity” has improved. Like me – just a good old farm boy. Not like me – will knock your lights out!