Ohio State tight end Cade Stover was not shy on Tuesday in his praise for quarterback C.J. Stroud, one of the top signal-callers in the country entering his second season at the helm of the Buckeyes.
Stover spent last season bouncing between offense and defense, but with his position firmly set at tight end now, he’s gotten to spend plenty of time over the past few weeks working with Stroud, and Stover calls him a security blanket for the offense.
“You know C.J. He’s the most talented guy I think I’ve ever seen with the football in his hands,” Stover said. “Knowing that and having the confidence in him to do what he’s going to do like we’ve all seen before, that’s huge. I don’t know if he’s sleeps better at night because of that, but we love having him back there.”
While Ohio State has the benefit of having Stroud and the strongest group of receivers in the country, Stover cautioned that Ohio State is trying to avoid having a one-sided offense and forgetting about the rushing attack, especially with a more-than-capable pair of backs in TreVeyon Henderson and Miyan Williams.
“You’ve got to have a balance,” Stover said. “You can’t be one-sided either way. We’ve got guys that are talented in that aspect, for sure. We could go one way, but it’s all part of balancing this game out, and you’ve got to start by running the ball.”
Notre Dame head coach Marcus Freeman also put an emphasis on the rushing game – specifically stopping the run – this week in advance of Saturday’s season-opener at Ohio Stadium, and Ohio State had coach reiterated both Freeman and Stover’s thoughts on Tuesday.
“That’s really where we all start with stopping the run,” he said. “(Notre Dame does) a good job of running the football. We’re going to have to do a great job of being assignment sound and playing with great fundamentals and doing a great job on third down and get off the field.
“It’s the same thing on offense,” he continued. “You have to establish the run. That is very important. And something when we’re working very hard on.”