Texans Rookie Makes Great First Impression At OTAs: 'I Like Him'

At the start of OTAs, Houston Texans rookie Cade Stover made a great first impression on veteran Dalton Schultz.
Mar 20, 2024; Columbus, Ohio, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes tight end Cade Stover catches a pass during Pro Day at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center.
Mar 20, 2024; Columbus, Ohio, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes tight end Cade Stover catches a pass during Pro Day at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center. / Adam Cairns/Columbus Dispatch / USA
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Cade Stover is making a name for himself during his first organized team activities (OTAs) with the Houston Texans. Tuesday morning, he stood out among the tight ends during non-contact 11-on-11 play at the Houston Methodist Training Center. 

He finished the scrimmage with two catches thrown by quarterback Case Keenum — one of Stover's receptions came in double coverage. Stover's play caught the attention of veteran Dalton Schultz, who has been impressed with the rookie prospect from Ohio State since the two respective parties met following the 2024 NFL Draft.

READ MORE: Former Houston Texans First-Round Pick 'In A Position To Compete'

"I like him — he is a hardworking kid," Schultz said. "He is very eager to learn. He made some nice catches out there. I am excited for him." 

Schultz stated that Stover's eagerness to learn has been the most impressive intangible of the first-year tight end. Since the two became teammates, Stover has beaten Schultz to each team meeting. During their initial introduction, Stover made his intentions clear that his goal in year one was to learn from the veteran tight end.

Schultz accepted the mentorship role as an honor, given that he had to develop into a vocal leader, as he described his off-field personality as an introvert.

When the Texans made Stover a fourth-round pick (No. 123 overall) in April, the chance to reunite with quarterback C.J. Stroud was thrilling. However, he was delighted to join a team that featured Schultz, a tight end he had studied inside his dorm room at Ohio State since 2019.

"Dalton Schultz is a great player," Stover said on April 27. I’ve watched a lot of his films growing up and even the last couple of years. I could tell you a lot of what he does, especially when he was on the [Dallas] Cowboys. Now, just to be able to learn from a guy like that and take notes and tips on how he handles his life and everything, it’s gonna be awesome."

Stover's performance during OTAs and willingness to learn are small sample sizes of what made him an intriguing prospect to general manager Nick Caserio. 

Stover took the helm as one of Ohio State's leaders while contributing to the Buckeyes' success. As a two-year starter, Stover recorded a combined 982 receiving yards and ten touchdowns, proving he could be a potential playmaker and reliable target in the passing game for the Texans.

"This guy is as tough and hard-nosed a player that they had in the program," Caserio said. "He’s only played tight end for two years, so he’s certainly not a finished product, but he has the mindset and the work ethic to improve. How he was raised — this guy is everything you want in a football player and then more."

READ MORE: Multiple Texans Starters Not Present During OTAs

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Follow Coty M. Davis on Twitter at @CotyDavis_24.

Coty M. Davis