Recruiting never stops, and if you take a day off, you fall behind. Join us every night for a daily recap of Ohio State recruiting news, insight on what’s happening behind the scenes, and for a glimpse at what’s coming next.
Cade Stover is a freak
One of the most enjoyable parts of recruiting camp season is the chance to watch for the first time players that you’ve only heard about. On Tuesday at Ohio State, one of the players fitting that bill for me was Cade Stover, a 2019 defensive end/outside linebacker from Lexington High School in Ohio.
Stover seems to fit perfectly into the Buckeyes system. He’s a 6-foot-5, 220-pound tw0-sport athlete (he’s a capable basketball player), and he spent all of camp Tuesday working with Ohio State linebackers coach Bill Davis. That is notable because right now, with his frame, Stover seems like he is going to continue developing into a defensive end in college.
But he didn’t care about working at linebacker. He was just out there having fun, working to get better.
“It was really good,” Stover told Land of 10 about the workout. “[Bill Davis] just kept saying how we need to keep working and how raw and freakishly athletic I am.”
To be clear, being called a freak on a football field is a very good thing. A college coach in attendance was watching Stover alongside me and had a similar take on the 42nd-ranked prospect in 2019 per 247Sports.
“You can see that he’s a little crazy,” the coach said. “But it’s a good crazy. It’s got to be 110 degrees in here right now and he’s been running around for four hours and he’s laughing and smiling and having a good time.”
That doesn’t mean Stover wasn’t learning. He was markedly improved from the morning session to the afternoon session, looking more and more comfortable in pass coverage as the day went on. He’s a safety at Lexington but he’s a Sam Hubbard-esque player down the line if his arc remains true.
There was some discussion about a potential pending commitment from Stover, but there’s no planned date.
“I’m not sure it will be that soon,” he said. “But it has been talked about.”
The Buckeyes are the runaway favorite to land him and I’d be shocked if it didn’t happen before his junior season begins.
Zeke Correll, Buckeyes continue relationship building
It’s very rare for Ohio State to offer an in-state offensive lineman as early as the Buckeyes offered Zeke Correll.
Yet, despite being offered on May 25, the Cincinnati Anderson High offensive guard was on campus Tuesday, camping with Greg Studrawa and the Buckeyes anyway.
“It went well, I did good,” Correll said of his performance. “I really like Coach Stud’s tenacity. He’s an intense guy and that fits well with my character.”
Correll’s entirely family is a Kentucky student or alum, so while there is no doubt he’s got a very serious interest in the Buckeyes, he’s also very connected to the Wildcats and their staff. Ohio State needs to continue to develop its bond with him and his big, blue family.
“I think it’s a great thing,” Correll said of being present for the camp. “We can keep building a better relationship and I can get a better sense of how they coach. I may be back for Friday Night Lights.”
Correll will visit Kentucky for a 7-on-7 team tournament soon, and the Wildcats will keep swinging away as they hope to keep this legacy away from Ohio State.
Ohio State impresses Marcus Hicks
Here’s how you know Ohio State is on a very serious recruiting roll: 4-star defensive end Marcus Hicks, the country’s 13th-ranked weakside defensive end in 2019, traveled with his family from Kansas to Ohio to camp with the Buckeyes on Tuesday and his attendance was kind of “not a big deal.” There are so many big-time players vying for Buckeyes offers and attention that it’s becoming almost boring even when a really good player such as the 6-5, 220-pound Hicks attends.
For his part though, the two-day visit was definitely worth it.
— Marcus Hicks (@harcus_micks) June 14, 2017
“Ohio State really stood out,” Hicks told Land of 10. “Coach [Buckeyes defensive line coach Larry] Johnson said that he sees a lot of room for improvement, like I should use my hands more, but that he likes the fact that I’m a very athletic kid.”
Hicks was working with Johnson’s top group of linemen under a blistering-hot sun amid very humid conditions. He worked out for hours and said that though he was exhausted, his biggest takeaway from the camp was to just never stop working.
“I ran a 4.7 [-second 40-yard dash], and I was put through a little more drill-wise than I thought I would,” he said. “I wasn’t as fresh as I would have liked to be. Still, he told me he would like to see use what they taught me at the camp and to make sure that even if I make mistakes, that I need to make them going 100 percent.”
Mershawn Rice continues to look like an Ohio State-level prospect
Ohio State may not need to look too far from home for one of its 2019 wide receivers.
The Buckeyes hosted a group of very talented players from Reynoldsburg on Tuesday, but I think wide receiver/defensive back Mershawn Rice has the most upside. The junior-to-be is a 6-2, 190 pounds and is a fluid, smooth athlete with good burst. He runs well (he told Land of 10 he expected to run a 4.5 on Tuesday) and he’s physical.
Marc Givler of BuckeyeGrove.com thinks he could be an exceptional defensive back if he chooses to play there.
Rice once again impressed me at Ohio State yesterday, working at WR. He'll hate me for this, but he'd make a potentially special safety.
— Marc Givler (@MarcGivlerBG) June 14, 2017
But Rice says plainly that he’ll be a wide receiver in college. How that shakes out from here is anyone’s guess, but what isn’t a guess is that when you watch him, you see a bright, bright future. He was pleased with his outing at Ohio State.
“It went pretty good for me,” he said. “I won all my routes. I missed some balls, but I was doing my thing.”
To be in Columbus and working for the Buckeyes is a big step for a local player and he was excited to take in the event.
“It’s just going up against different competition,” he said. “[The Buckeyes coaches] were saying just to stay focused, keep doing your thing and don’t be a problem to your team or yourself, don’t ruin your chances.”
A chance for an Ohio State offer is what you camp for, and Rice says he hopes to talk to talk to the Buckeyes later this week about their evaluation.
“There might be some talk about an offer, but I am not sure yet,” he added. “I might talk to [Ohio State offensive coordinator Kevin] Wilson later in the week about how the camp went and stuff.”