Posted: 9:31 pm Saturday, July 19th, 2014
By Michael Carvell
Two of the nation’s top high school juniors committed to UGA on Saturday.
Ben Cleveland, a 5-star offensive tackle from Stephens County High School, and Jacob Eason, a 5-star quarterback from Lake Stevens, Wash., both pledged to UGA after competing together in the Dawg Night prospect camp on Friday.
Cleveland and Eason are both ranked among the nation’s top 22 college football prospects for 2016, per the 247sports.com composite rankings. They are UGA’s first two commitments for its 2016 class.
The 6-foot-7, 320-pound Cleveland is ranked as the state’s No. 2 overall prospect for 2016, along with the nation’s No. 3 offensive tackle. Cleveland had around 20 offers, including Alabama, Clemson, Florida and Auburn, but was always considered a strong lean to UGA.
The 6-5, 205-pound Eason is UGA’s most celebrated QB recruit since Matt Stafford. He flew to Athens with his parents for Dawg Night and to visit UGA’s campus for the weekend.
Eason is rated as the nation’s No. 2 pro-style quarterback and the nation’s No. 14 overall prospect. He was also considering Notre Dame, Washington, Stanford and Alabama, among others.
“(Georgia Head) coach (Mark) Richt has been there, for heck, I don’t know how long,” Lake Stevens coach Tom Tri told The Herald of Everett, Washington. “He was looking for stability in the program. The right offensive fit and scheme. He was looking for the right group of coaches he could continue to flourish with. Georgia was definitely a good fit in that direction.”
Dawg Night was UGA’s biggest recruiting weekend of the year, and it has lived up to it advanced billing this year. The Bulldogs kicked off the weekend with commitments from a pair of 2015 defensive backs, Shaquery Wilson from Miami and Deontai Williams of Jacksonville, Fla. Williams flipped his commitment from Florida to the Bulldogs.
- Note: Aaron Murray was ranked as the nation’s No. 18 overall prospect in 2009, while Matthew Stafford was rated as the No. 6 overall prospect in 2006.
— J_Eason10 (@skinnyqb10) July 19, 2014
Feels great to officially be a Georgia bulldog! #CommittedTotheG
— Big Country (@BenCleveland74) July 19, 2014
Of course, UGA’s coaches were giddy on Twitter:
— Mark Richt (@MarkRicht) July 20, 2014
— John Lilly (@JohnLillyUGA) July 20, 2014
From UGA grad assistant Daniel Inman …
Holding my little boy and singing twinkle twinkle, five stars!!!!!!!……..#CommitToTheG
— coach inman (@Dinman72) July 20, 2014
And here’s some general reaction on Twitter:
— Radi Nabulsi (@RadiNabulsi) July 20, 2014
Mark Richt has lost control of recruiting
— Mark Schlabach (@Mark_Schlabach) July 20, 2014
Just a reminder. 5-star OL Ben Cleveland, at 6-foot-7, 322lbs, is still only 15 y/o. Turns 16 on August 23. Watched him bench 415 recently.
— Jake Rowe (@Rowe247) July 20, 2014