Four-star 2024 safety Garrett Stover comes to Ohio State

Ohio State got a late-night BOOM on Monday night of rivalry week.

Four-star 2024 safety Garrett Stover became the third Ohio State commitment in the 2024 class when he pulled the trigger and committed to the Buckeyes on Monday, following in the footsteps of his cousin, current Ohio State tight end Cade Stover. He joins Arizona five-star quarterback Dylan Raiola and Indiana four-star offensive tackle Ian Moore in the class.

Stover is the first in-state commit and the first defensive commit in Ohio State’s 2024 class.

TheStover File

  • Class: 2024
  • Size: 6-2/195
  • Pos: S
  • School: Big Walnut (Sunbury, Ohio)
  • Composite Rating: ★★★★
  • Composite Rank: #168 (#17 ATH)

Stover attended five OSU games this fall, leaving little doubt where he was going to end up even though he also made a visit to Notre Dame for its home game against Clemson. OSU defensive coordinator Jim Knowles and Stover built up a strong relationship over the past few months, as the pair communicated weekly and Knowles also stopped by Big Walnut to watch the Ohio prospect play earlier this fall.

“Jim Knowles from what I’ve seen is doing a good job of keeping that defense in the best position to make plays,” Stover said after one of his visits in October. “They’re fun to watch and I love their energy. I love the excitement they get when one guy makes a play and everybody is on them congratulating them. It’s just something you want to be a part of.”

Stover first earned his OSU offer on June 1 after an impressive recruiting camp where he ran a 4.45-second 40-yard dash, recorded a broad jump of 10 feet, 1 inch and showcased great agility in defensive back drills.

“Coach Day called my mom and me to his office and he did it right there,” Stover said. He put my dad on speakerphone too since he wasn’t there and said we’re offering your son a full scholarship to Ohio State. Obviously, that was a very exciting moment. I got emotional as well. It was really cool.”

While his first call was to his father, Garrett’s second call after getting his offer was to Cade.

“He was definitely number one on my call list,” Stover said of Cade. I made sure I called him right after. He was extremely happy for me and congratulated me.”

Knowles has told Stover he could play at either safety or linebacker when he arrives on campus.

“He’s told me that I could play both (linebacker and safety),” Stover said. It’s really just how my body develops over the years. It just comes down to making sure that I’m staying flexible and loose so I have the opportunity to play both and be that dynamic player. It’s a unique thing, having an opportunity to play both and I’m excited to see where I fit.”

At 6-foot-2 and 195 pounds, Stover has the frame necessary to play either safety or linebacker in Knowles’ scheme. He has a similar skillset to Ronnie Hickman as he can cover the deep third of the field, attack off the edge and line up positionally at linebacker. For Big Walnut High School, Stover played safety his sophomore year, then primarily played linebacker in his junior season. He also contributes offensively as a wide receiver for his high school team, though it’s not likely he’ll change positions at the collegiate level as many times as his cousin did in Columbus.

With Stover in the fold, Ohio State remains in pursuit of other top safety targets in 2024 such as five-star safety target KJ Bolden, who will be in attendance at OSU’s game against Michigan on Saturday. Other top targets include Peyton Woodyard, Jaylen Heyward, Corian Gipson and Vaboue Toure.

Stover had 16 Division I offers and chose Ohio State over the likes of Notre Dame, Michigan State, Kentucky, Iowa State, Northwestern, Pittsburgh, Boston College and Cincinnati. He’s considered the 168th-best player in 2024 nationally per 247 Sports’ composite rankings.

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