Massive 2016 OL Enjoys Visit, Talks Offer

Ben Cleveland

Big Ben Cleveland discusses his latest offer from the Auburn Tigers and what he likes about Gus Malzahn's program following his visit.

Toccoa, Ga.--Stephens County High School was made famous in recruiting circles in the 1980‘s by cousins Pat and Ken Swilling, but there is a massive 15-year old offensive lineman that is poised to make plenty of noise in the next two years from the school. At 6-5, 323, Ben Cleveland already had offers from Clemson, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and Texas before making a visit to see the Auburn Tigers on Saturday.

Spending time with Coach Gus Malzahn and offensive line Coach J.B. Grimes, Cleveland said he got some good news from the Tigers as well once his trip to the Plains was complete.

"They gave me an official offer today," Cleveland said. "That means a lot because Auburn was the school I was wanting my next offer from. We came into this day hoping I would get one and they just fulfilled what I was expecting, so that was great."

Planning to return to Auburn sometime in the near future for his second visit and also come to games this fall at Jordan-Hare Stadium, Cleveland said he's only been to Clemson and Georgia before this trip and everything about the campus stacks up well with what he's seen.

"It was real good," Cleveland said. "We got to see a lot of the facilities and everything. I really liked what I saw. This is the first time we had ever been to Auburn. Everybody was real hospitable around there and that's the way it's going to be with any small-town college. I really liked that about it and I really liked getting to meet all the coaches. I'm starting to work on building my relationship with them.

"Auburn and Clemson's campus are very similar," he added. "The athletic facilities are also very similar. I don't want to say they are nicer, but it's more of a recent facility than Georgia. I love Georgia and the relationship I have with all their coaches, but I feel like I am starting to build relationships with all of the other coaches too."

One of the highlights of the day for Cleveland was having the opportunity to not only sit down and talk with Grimes about his role on the offensive line, but to also see the veteran coach in action on the practice field.

"He reminds me a whole lot of my offensive line coach at my high school," Cleveland said. "Old-school and down to it. He's not going to get up in your face and cuss at you, but he's going to make sure that you know he's there. I really respect my offensive line coach and I see my coach in him. I really like that."

A physical offensive lineman that is just now learning how to drive, Cleveland has the look and size of a college junior. Already the same size as many of Auburn's current offensive linemen, he said he really enjoyed getting to see how they play and what they do for the Tigers up front.

"I liked watching the practice," Cleveland said. "With it being early in the season not many teams are really getting after it and hitting each other like they were doing. I really liked the fast-pace they were going at. That says something about the program and how they like to get after it and hit each other."

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