A Lexington, Ohio, native, Cade Stover joined Ohio State in 2019 and went through a series of position changes, moving from defensive end to linebacker to tight end to a temporary assignment at linebacker to end last season.
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While he made six tackles to help OSU’s undermanned defense in the Rose Bowl, the plan for Stover in 2022 is to be a full-time tight end. Against Notre Dame, he showed what he could do in the role, contributing to the 21-10 win by making three catches on four targets for 14 yards. Up until the Buckeyes’ season opener, he had five catches in his career.
That’s no surprise to Stover. As a farmer, he’s used to nurturing something and giving it time to grow.
Meet Ohio State tight end Cade Stover
Let's start with a fill-in-the-blank question. In addition to a jock I am also...
I have seen a video of you chasing a pig (at home in Lexington, Ohio). Is that the most embarrassing thing you've had to do to be a farmer?
No, no, no. There's a lot of embarrassing things. That's far from the most embarrassing.
You're not going to tell me the most embarrassing?
What do you raise on your farm? I know pigs, obviously.
We raise black-angus cattle, and we raise corn, soybeans and alfalfa.
Do you name the pigs and the cows?
No. Well, that pig (in the video) was my little sister's pet pig. ... And the cows all have ear tags, but there's no names for them, no.
What other pets do you have?
We have three dogs now. My little sister has a dog. It’s Boone, who’s a Great Pyrenees mixed with a Newfoundland. He’s only, like, 6 months old – not even that old. We’ve got a Rottweiler. We’ve got another little mutt. Then me and my girlfriend a have a dog here. It’s a little golden retriever.
And what's the golden retriever's name?
The rottweiler's name is Ace, and the other little mutt is Yogi.
How did Bear get his name?
She liked it. My girlfriend liked Bear. ... He looks like a little teddy bear, so that's kind of how we got Bear.
I know your parents do a lot, not only on the farm but also at OSU. For instance, I have heard they have cut the hair of your teammates. Is that true?
Right. My dad. My dad has cut my hair my whole entire life. So I've had this same haircut since I could walk. He's cut Tommy's before. He's cut Bryson Shaw, who used to be here a lot. And really whoever else needs a haircut at the house. We used to all used to live together.
No, no, no! He doesn't cut that hair.
Would he try?
Oh, yeah. He could definitely. But he only has one cut, and it's this one, so I don't think Joe would be very happy with it.
What is the weirdest thing on Twitter you've read about yourself?
That's a really good question. Sometimes you get tagged in stuff that is something you didn't say, or something got crossed up in the translation somewhere. Realistically, I try and not read anything anybody says about me. ... Like, right now on my phone, there's no Twitter on my phone right now. It's just business right now.
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So you've shut social media down.
Before you did that, I know you were lobbying to join a slow-pitch softball league.
Oh, my gosh. Yes. Yeah.
Did you get in one?
Nope. We thought we did. We got played pretty good. I don't know what park it was, but they had a team drop out, and they called me and said, "Hey, we had a team drop out. You want to join in?" We're like, "Yessss." We had a team ready, ready to rock. And he says, "I'll call you back tomorrow with the details and stuff." I don't get a call. So I call him back. Don't answer. Don't answer. He finally answers, and he goes, "Yeah, the team that dropped out ended up joining back in." By then, it was too late after that. It was a shame. We had a team. We had uniforms – we didn't buy them yet, but we had a guy who was going to make them for us. We were all set up.
Details, details. What was the team name? What would the uniform look like? What position were you going to play?
I would have probably played short. Tommy (Eichenberg) would have played third. Steele (Chambers) would have played centerfield. Emeka, all those guys. Kyle McCord, Reed, Jack Sawyer. We had all kind of guys with us.
I can imagine that would be a dangerous team to face.
We might have sucked. We really don't know. Could have been good. Could have been bad.
Is there any sport that you're not good at?
I'm not very good at golf. I'm not a very good golfer at all. During COVID, I got decent. I just don't like it at all. And then tennis is kind of hard. I was at Siesta Key. I tried to play tennis. It did not go very well.
What is your favorite class here at OSU?
I have taken two classes that I've learned something that will prepare me in my life. The first one was engines and powers class. So basically two days a week we just went to the lab and literally tore apart engines and stuff. And now I'm in a welding class, which is really cool. It's probably my favorite class I've taken. Super cool.
So post-football career, you want to be a mechanic or a welder or...
OK. So you're using that for your tractor?
Right. Yup. Be my own mechanic on my farm.
Is your farm going to be the family farm?
My dad will still live on my family farm, but I've always wanted to move close to home and buy a bigger farm and just join them together.
What is it about farming you like you so much?
It's really all I've ever known, to be honest with you. That's everything I've ever done is just farm, and in my opinion, it's the best way to raise a family. It's the most pure form of life you can probably get.
You say it's the only life you've ever known, but I imagine being at OSU has expanded your horizons somewhat?
Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah. Before this, unless I was going on visits or basketball trips, that was it. But being down here has really helped a lot as far as knowing what a city really is. ... So it's kind of nice. I have the best of both worlds. Now I'm able to get around fine and be fine, but then I also got home.
I take it the girlfriend you mentioned is on board with farming?
Yeah. She's a city girl. She's from Aurora. ... During the summer, we were home every single weekend. Stayed there. And she couldn't imagine anything else now either.
Now how much plaid do you own because you're a regular Hallmark Channel hero?
No doubt! But I'm a white T-shirt guy.
Oh, the other Hallmark Channel uniform.
I probably have about 50 different white T-shirts and rotate them in and out.
What's a cause you're passionate about?
That's a good question. Really hoping that America is tough enough to be what America was 100 years ago, 50 years ago. Like when you see people in Ukraine fight for their country, and they don't have a whole lot, it makes you wonder if people here would do that. I would really hope people would be able to say that, "Yeah, I would fight for my country." I just really like to promote that we are living in the best country in the world. There's always going to be stuff wrong, but you go out of this country, you're going to find a lot more things more, so I think you better count your blessings and try to make this place better and stop complaining about it.
So it's not perfect now...
Right. But it's the land of the free, home of the brave.
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This article originally appeared on The Columbus Dispatch: Meet Ohio State football tight end Cade Stover