COLUMBUS — Lexington High School graduate Cade Stover, a redshirt junior at Ohio State, was recently selected as one of nine semifinalists for the John Mackey Award, which honors college football’s most outstanding tight end.
Stover (6-4, 255) is third on the team with 29 catches for 366 yards and five touchdowns this season.
He’s just two scores shy of tying the school record of seven, set by Rickey Dudley in 1995 and matched by Jake Stoneburner in 2011.
Stover is one of the best athletes to come out of Ohio in the past decade. An All-Ohio basketball player who led his Lexington team to the Final Four as a junior, he became the state’s Mr. Football as a senior and the Gatorade Player of the Year.
The Buckeyes have never had a finalist for the Mackey Award, which is named after the Pro Football Hall of Fame and former Syracuse tight end John Mackey.
OSU offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson praised Stover earlier this season.
“He’s a much better athlete than people give him credit for,” Wilson said.
“I think he’s the quintessential tight end because he’s got size, toughness and he’s not flashy. Our team loves him. I love him and I think he’s a special player. We are just starting and we’ve got a long way to go with him and I’m counting on a big year out of that kid.”
Other semifinalists for the award include Georgia’s Brock Bowers and Darnell Washington, Iowa’s Sam LaPorta, Memphis’ Caden Prieskorn, Notre Dame’s Michael Mayer, Purdue’s Payne Durham, Texas’ Ja’Tavion Sanders and Utah’s Dalton Kincaid.
Three finalists will be announced later this month and the winner will be announced during the ESPN Home Depot College Football Awards show on Dec. 8.