Cleveland Commits To Florida

After a pair of unofficial visits this week, Springdale tight end Ben Cleveland (6-4, 230) decides to make a commitment and does so on Friday morning

Ben Cleveland became the first of the so-called Springdale 5 to officially commit when he announced Friday morning that he will sign with Florida.

Cleveland, a 6-4, 230-pound tight who is one of five Springdale players with multiple offers, chose Florida over a final five that he said also included Colorado, Clemson, Oklahoma State and Iowa.

Although he had said he would wait to make a decision until after the season, a trip to Florida - after one to Clemson - sped up the process.

"It was a just a great opportunity and where my heart led me," Cleveland said. "I went there and got chills. It is just a once in a lifetime opportunity. What they are doing with their offense is just wonderful for a tight end. I felt really wanted."

It was Cleveland's second unofficial visit to Florida this summer, following one he took with teammates Damian Williams and Bartley Webb as well as Springdale head coach Gus Malzahn.

New Florida coach Urban Meyer was a big selling point to Cleveland, who was the last of the five to have offers become pouring in because of a season-ending injury that happed during the middle of the 2004 campaign.

"I made another trip down there this week and just really felt like it was the place for me," Cleveland said. "Coach Meyer is a great coach and I feel like he is going to do some great things there. I really like him and think the program has a bright, bright future."

Cleveland - who moved to Springdale from Arkansas City, Kansas last summer - becomes the second Springdale player to eliminate Arkansas.

Offensive lineman Webb (6-7, 285) had already done so and confirmed last week that he is preparing to commit to Notre Dame in person in the near future.

"Arkansas is a good school with some good coaches, but I just didn't think it was the place for me," Cleveland said.

The Razorbacks remain in the hunt for Springdale quarterback Mitch Mustain (6-3, 200) and wideouts Andrew Norman (6-2, 180) and Williams (6-1, 185).


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