Cleveland Flips to Arkansas

Springdale tight end Ben Cleveland, who also played well at linebacker for the Class AAAAA unbeaten champs, decides to change his college choice to Arkansas.

Springdale tight end Ben Cleveland became the latest player to change his commitment Friday, choosing to follow former Red Bulldog head coach Gus Malzahn to Arkansas.

"I'm committed to Arkansas," Cleveland said. "I decided this two days ago. I wanted to play for coach Malzahn. I trusted him and everything that he said. I just know that Arkansas could be a championship contender soon."

Cleveland, who was committed to Florida, made his decision public after returning from Shreveport, La., where he played in the Max Emfinger All-American Bowl Game Classic on Thursday.

Cleveland said he hoped the three players in the Springdale Five who are not committed to Arkansas would wind up joining him in Fayetteville.

"We'll try our best to see what we can do," Cleveland said of trying to get his other Springdale teammates to join him at Arkansas.

Red'Dogs receiver Andrew Norman is already committed to the Razorbacks.

Quarterback Mitch Mustain remains uncommitted after reopening his recruitment in December. Mustain, widely considered the No. 1 quarterback in the country initially committed to the Razorbacks prior to the season.

Another Springdale receiver, Damian Williams, said Friday he remains a solid commitment to Florida. Williams and Cleveland are close friends.

"That's fine," Williams said of Cleveland's decision, which he was informed of Thursday. "I'm happy for him. He needs to make the best decision for him. I'm still solid to Florida, though."

Another Springdale player, offensive lineman Bartley Webb, is committed to Notre Dame. Mustain and Webb are in San Antonio, where they will play in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl on Saturday.

Cleveland said he'd been considering switching commitments since Malzahn was hired as the Razorbacks' offensive coordinator in December after guiding Springdale to the Class AAAAA state championship.


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