Cade Stover vs. Mt. Vernon.jpg

Lexington's Cade Stover takes a break during a game with Mount Vernon. (Richland Source file photo)

LEXINGTON -- When Ohio State football coach Urban Meyer calls about a high school player, coaches tend to answer.

When he actually shows up at the school, odds are even better he will find the door open.

That was the case Friday afternoon at Lexington High School when Meyer came to visit football Minutemen coach Taylor Gerhardt to inquire about All-Ohio sophomore Cade Stover.

"Ohio State had called before and told me Coach Meyer wanted to come to the high school," Gerhardt said on Saturday. "He was on a tight schedule but he wanted to talk to me about Cade."

NCAA rules prohibit college coaches from contacting sophomores directly. That makes visits with high school coaches even more important.

Gerhardt said Meyer didn't talk about potential positions for the 6-foot-5, 220-pound Stover. He plays safety and tight end/wide receiver for Lexington, but his frame creates a myriad of possibilities at the next level.

"He asked about the kind of things we ask Cade to do and how he played for us," Gerhardt said. "He was very interested in (Cade's grades) and was very impressed. Cade has a 3.6 GPA. Not a lot of people know that about him."

Stover was special mention All-Ohio this past season as a safety, helping lead the Minutemen to a 9-4 record and a Division II regional title game.

The only sophomore on the first-team All-Northwest Ohio defense, Stover was second in the area with 132 tackles during the regular season and also finished second on the team in receptions.

"The exciting thing about Cade is a projects to a lot of different positions (at the college level). He is big and he can run," Gerhardt said. "Safety, linebacker, wide receiver, tight end ... and anyone who has played against him knows of his physicality."

Only 16, Stover has been a varsity starter in football and basketball since his freshman season. Also a leader on the court, Stover had 19 points and 10 rebounds on Friday night in Lexington's win against Mansfield Senior.

Former Ohio State coach John Cooper once said, "If a dog is going to bite, he'll bite as a pup." In that vein, as a freshman on the football team, Stover led the Ohio Cardinal Conference in tackles -- proof of his zest for contact.

"Cade has a lot of options in his future, but I believe he is a football player. I would put him up against anyone in the country. He has the full support of his parents (Trevor and Chelsea) and he will make his own decision. But he is really a top-notch football player."

Meyer and the Buckeyes are not the only colleges with Stover on their radar.

"Michigan State has called. Kentucky was also in to visit on Friday. Miami (Ohio) University has already offered," Gerhardt said.

And now Urban Meyer has planted a scarlet-and-gray flag into the game.

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City editor. 30-year plus journalist. Husband. Father of 3 grown sons and also a proud grandpa. Prior military journalist in U.S. Navy, Ohio Air National Guard. -- Favorite quote: "Where were you when the page was blank?"

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