Cleveland Rocks

While some of his teammates are moving closer to making a decision, Springdale tight end Ben Cleveland (6-4, 230) says he is not rushing to one and will take his time.

Those who saw Springdale tight end Ben Cleveland during Monday night's 7-on-7 action were reminded of one thing for sure - get the ball anywhere close to Cleveland and it's going to be caught.

The 6-4, 230-pound standout - who now has 15 scholarship offers - hauled in several passes and did not drop any during the competition at Jarrell Williams Stadium in Springdale.

"He's just a big kid with great speed and a great set of hands," Springdale head coach Gus Malzahn said. "He's really something special."

Cleveland, who moved in from Arkansas City, Kansas, before last season, was the last of the so-called Springdale 5 to get attention in part because of missing the second half of the season due to injury.

Once college coaches came to see the others and saw film of Cleveland, they hopped on his bandwagon as well.

So unlike the other four who are narrowing their lists, Cleveland is going much slower.

"There are still a lot of teams in it and I am going to take the official visits and everything," Cleveland said. "I'm just going to take my time and have fun with it. It is a once in a lifetime experience so I'm going to take it slow and enjoy life.

"I'm just kind of putting it out back and waiting until the season is about over," Cleveland added. "I just want to try to concentrate on the season first."

Arkansas joins Florida, Colorado, Colorado State, Clemson, Iowa, Oklahoma State, Kansas State, Michigan State, Mississippi State, Virginia, Texas A&M, Oklahoma State, Tulsa and Arkansas State as just some of the schools that have offered Cleveland.

His last unofficial visit was to Florida along with Malzahn and teammates Damian Williams and Bartley Webb.

"That's a beautiful place," Cleveland said. "It's just crazy."

The Razorbacks - who along with Florida and Michigan State have offered all of the Springdale 5 - remain a favorite of Cleveland's.

"Arkansas is definitely in the running," Cleveland said. "I think it would be a great place to play. I wouldn't mind playing for them at all. It is one of the places we would have the opportunity to play together and that's certainly something we've talked about."

Springdale will leave the school at around 3 a.m. Thursday morning to drive to Tulsa and then fly to Los Angeles for a Nike Elite 7-on-7 tournament on the campus of defending national champion USC.

"It's going to be really exciting and it's going to fun to see where we at and what we are really made of and see if we can step up and take the challenge," Cleveland said. "We are all about the team and getting better."


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