SUNBURY, Ohio — Ohio State used the summer camp circuit to take a close look at many of the top class of 2024 prospects in Ohio, including Big Walnut star Garrett Stover. The 6-foot-2, 205-pound linebacker/safety prospect earned an offer from the Buckeyes following an impressive camp performance and has started to become one of the top in-state priorities in that class.
Stover, a versatile defensive prospect who could project to either linebacker or safety at the next level, got his junior season off to a strong start on Friday night. Stover was all over the field making plays in a 35-7 win over Bishop Hartley.
More impressive was that Stover has made a position change this off-season. As a sophomore, he starred at safety, but he’s playing WILL linebacker as a junior.
So far, so good.
“It’s a big difference,” Stover said of his position change. “Just getting guys off of you, finding the ball carrier and making sure you’re fitting in the right holes. That’s the biggest difference but I’m still making sure that I’m playing fast.”
Ohio State and Stover have maintained communication throughout the summer, something that will become even easier once the restrictions on contacting class of 2024 prospects are lifted on September 1st. Stover has linked up with a host of Buckeye coaches during July and August, however, including new defensive coordinator Jim Knowles, new safeties coach Perry Eliano, and head coach Ryan Day.
“I talked to coach Knowles and coach Day about two weeks ago,” he recalled. “They just wanted to check in and see how I was doing, see how the off-season was going and making sure I was getting off on the right foot going into week one.”
With Stover’s older cousin, Buckeye tight end Cade Stover, recently being named a captain, there is clearly a close connection being established between the four-star prospect and Ohio State. With two years of high school left, Stover has plenty of time to find the best fit, but Ohio State could prove tough to beat.
“I would say they are definitely a top school,” Stover said of the Buckeyes. “Ohio State is such a special place. Obviously with my background there with Cade being there, that’s going to play a huge part in my decision and in seeing if it’s the right fit for me. But I’m going to keep an open mind.”
The Buckeyes will get Stover’s first game visit of the season when they host Notre Dame on September 3rd. With a revamped defensive staff, Stover is eagerly awaiting his chance to see the changes up close and personal.
“I know they’ve talked a lot this off-season about their toughness,” he said. “With Knowles being in there, I’m excited to see how he changed things around. I basically want to see how I’d fit into everything, so I’m excited to watch.”
Stover has one more unofficial visit locked in and also knows a couple of other schools that he’ll be checking out down the line.
“I’m going to go to Notre Dame versus Clemson,” he explained. “I’m also going to Cincinnati and Michigan State (at some point).”
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