Stephens County c/o 2016 graduate Ben Cleveland was a four-star recruit when playing for the Indians and was a 2016 U.S. Army All-American as well as a 2015 MaxPreps Second-Team All-American. The then-#119 overall prospect in the country (#6 OG nationally & #6 overall in the state of Georgia) elected to play at nearby UGA, as most Georgia born and raised players desire to.
The former 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution Super 11 selection and 2015 Georgia Sports Writers Association All-State honoree got the Indians to the playoffs in all four seasons. Fast forward a couple of years, he’s now helped UGA to a national title game appearance in January 2018 against Alabama, and has made a huge impact on the offensive line.
After he redshirted his 2016 season, he spent time on the scout time in preparation for his 2017 campaign. As a redshirt-freshman, Cleveland was called to play in 15 games, starting the last five (including the College Football Playoff National Championship) at right guard. He also participated on punt and kick unit teams. His starting nod came after UGA’s loss to Auburn.
The Criminal Justice major is set to likely remain the starter at the right guard position, but the battle will continue with fellow redshirt sophomore Solomon Kindley until the week of the season-opener. Cleveland has been sited as one of the toughest and strongest players on the Bulldogs roster by a number of experts.
While Cleveland is fine, he gave Dawg Nation and family and friends a bit of a scare when he was in a minor truck accident in early July. The 6’6, 335 lb guard will continue to make a difference on the O-Line and play a pivotal part in Georgia’s run game and pass protection.