Over the past few days, Hillgrove (Ga.) High School cornerback Tolando Cleveland said he did a lot of thinking and praying. On Thursday morning the 2013 cornerback prospect felt comfortable with the decision in front of him.
That decision revolved around him changing his commitment from Georgia Tech to Mississippi State. The 6-foot and 170-pound Cleveland became MSU's 22nd commit for the Class of 2013 once he made the call to head coach Dan Mullen.
"I just realized some things and prayed about it and slept on things last night," said Cleveland. "I woke up this morning and I had a change of heart. (Georgia Tech assistant) Coach Charles Kelly left their staff and he was a big factor in my decision. So I've been thinking about things and called Coach Mullen this morning. I told him I wanted to commit and he said he was glad I was on board."
The 247Sports three-star prospect was one of the top cornerback standouts last summer at one of MSU's camp sessions. He said he didn't remain in touch with MSU the entire time after he originally committed to Georgia Tech. But earlier this month those talks picked back up with the Bulldogs.
"I didn't stay in contact with (MSU) the whole time but I stayed in contact in January," said Cleveland. "I just felt it was a good move for me. I feel I can become a better player, study well and get a good education. I just like the atmosphere down there and I can play in the SEC. I really like Coach (Geoff) Collins and I like who they just brought in to coach cornerbacks. I like the level of football there and I really like Coach Mullen and Coach Collins."
That new coach on MSU's staff is former NFL standout Deshea Townsend, who Cleveland has already built a good relationship with in a short period of time.
"We have already clicked on a lot of things and our talks have been great," said Cleveland of Townsend. "We clicked right away. He's been there and done that (in the NFL) and he knows what it takes to get there."
After going through a major thought process of late, Cleveland said he felt a lot of stress come off his mind this morning. This weekend he will return to MSU's campus for his official visit and will do so as the Bulldogs' newest commit.
"I feel very relieved," said Cleveland. "I am sorry I had to make a decision like this at the end but I had to do what I felt was the best decision for me.
"I will be glad to get down there this weekend. I want to see the new things they have going on now and hang out with the players. I have seen the campus several times except for the new facility (Seal Complex), which I heard is great."