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TOCCOA, Ga. - One of the University of Georgia's top football recruits has been injured, not on the field, but in science class.
Ben Cleveland, a 5-star offensive lineman who is committed to the Bulldogs for 2016, suffered a hand injury in his science lab last week at Stephens County High School, the Atlanta Journal Constitution reported.
Cleveland had to get stitches in his hand, and missed at least one of his high school team’s baseball games. He also did not participate in the Nike or Rivals football camps in the Atlanta area this weekend.
“He was doing lab, and he was holding a glass bottle,” Stephens County football coach Frank Barden told the AJC. “I don’t know if it was the chemical in the glass, or from him squeezing it – but the glass broke. And he had to have some stitches in his hand.”
The 6-foot-7, 325-pounder is rated as the state’s No. 3 overall prospect for next year. He committed to UGA, along with 5-star quarterback Jacob Eason, at last summer’s Dawg Night prospect camp.
Cleveland plays first base for Stephens County’s baseball team. He was expected to return to lineup this weekend as a designated hitter
“He’ll be fine,” Barden said. “He will be back at first base as soon as his stitches heal. They’re in his right hand, and he throws left-handed. I think they taped his ring finger and his middle finger together. He couldn’t wear a glove last week, but I think that was how he was going to be able to DH.”
How good is Cleveland in baseball? “He’s really good,” Barden said. “He’s really a phenomenal athlete to be that size. It’s an amazing thing to watch him play baseball. He led the team in homeruns in baseball last year.”