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Georgia Bulldogs OL Ben Cleveland To Skip Peach Bowl To Focus on 2021 NFL Draft

December 29, 2020
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ATHENS - What a career it’s been for Georgia senior offensive lineman, Ben Cleveland.

The massive offensive guard was a early 5-star prospect in the 2016 class, looking like a mountain of a man with a fully grown Duck Dynasty beard at the age of 15. He was massive, strong, and looked like an ideal offensive guard prospect with his barreled chest and lower body strength.

He was a top priority for new head coach Kirby Smart who knew he had to keep the Stephens County star on the commit list. Cleveland was the very first prospect that Smart went to visit with when he took the job, and half a decade years later, Cleveland’s time in Athens has come to an end.

The multi-year starter announced Tuesday that he will be skipping the Peach Bowl and will focus entirely on preparing for the 2021 NFL draft

This comes as no surprise as head coach Kirby Smart told reporters on Sunday that Cleveland has been dealing with a shoulder injury and wouldn’t play in the game.

“"Those would be the four that, right now, I don't think are going to play. Tre' obviously has the senior bowl and Tre' was also dealing with a knee all year. He had a knee injury right before the season that slowed him down and Ben has been dealing with a shoulder. Ben has played a lot of football with us.”

The former four-star prospect started 13 games at right guard as a junior in 2018, and had his best season as a Bulldog in 2020 as a senior, starting at right guard in each of the nine games the Bulldogs played in the regular season.

It may have taken a few years before everything started to click, but once it did, Cleveland quickly became one of the top guards in the SEC. He’s been a mauler in the run game and has paved the way for one of the top rushing teams in college football. He’s also improved in his pass protection with each season. 

At 6-foot-6 335-pounds, the outdoorsman will have a chance to blow NFL scouts and GMs away with his physical presence and overall strength. He’s playing the best football of his career right now, and his job during the 2020 season will be remembered well by Georgia fans for the foreseeable future. 

 

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