Future Buckeye Pegged As ‘Mr. Football’
On Wednesday as the Division I All-Ohio high school football teams were being unveiled, the Ohio High School Athletic Association in coordination with the Ohio Prep Sports Writers Association announced its selection for the 32nd “Mr. Football” award.
As it often happens, the prestigious award was bestowed upon a future Buckeye – Lexington defender Cade Stover.
The statewide panel singled out Stover after he produced a phenomenal senior season highlighted by 175 tackles including 11 for loss, one sack, two forced fumbles, four interceptions and nine pass break-ups.
Stover also was a huge key to the Lexington offense in 2018. He compiled 1,497 rushing yards and 18 rushing touchdowns on 205 carries and added 21 catches for 238 yards and another score.
Stover, who is expected to sign a letter-of-intent and send it into OSU head coach Urban Meyer during the early period, also is a standout basketball player at Lexington.
Despite all his athletic success, he was blown away by the honor.
“I couldn’t even tell you what it is like right now,” Stover told The Associated Press. “Just to be mentioned with all those guys who have won it, that is a sweet feeling. I don’t know what else to say.”
Stover’s prep football run ended with Lexington posting a 7-4 record and him amassing career totals of 592 total tackles, 21 TFLs, four sacks, eight interceptions, six forced fumbles, four fumble recoveries and 24 pass break-ups as he lined up all over the field in his safety-hybrid position.
“You never want to take away anything from all the kids you coached in the past, but to have a kid the caliber of Cade Stover and winning Mr. Football, that is certainly something special,” Lexington coach Taylor Gerhardt said. “Cade is a special player and I have said it over and over again how special he really is.”
During his senior season alone, Stover was named Mansfield News Journal Defensive Player of the Year, Division III All-Ohio Defensive Player of the Year, Ohio Prep Sports Writers Division III Northwest District Defensive Player of the Year, North Central Ohio Football Coaches Association Defensive Skill Player of the Year and Ohio Cardinal Conference Defensive Player of the Year.
Gerhardt said Stover also is a first-rate person who deeply cares about his academics and even makes time to help out on his family farm.
“(College coaches) want to know what kind of kid Cade is? He is the true definition of Mr. Football,” he said.
Other finalists for the award included C.J. Charleston of Gates Mills Gilmour Academy, Brady Blattner of Byesville Meadowbrook, K.J. Price of London, Ethan Heller of Thornville Sheridan, Miyan Williams of Cincinnati Winton Woods, Jamir Thomas of Massillon Washington and Mark Waid of Girard.