The Chargers bolstered their depth at tight end when they claimed Asante Cleveland off waivers in late December 2015. A native of Sacramento, California, Cleveland has spent time with the San Francisco 49ers and New England Patriots.
A business major at the University of Miami (Fla.), Cleveland interned with the 49ers marketing department during the 2015 offseason. He shadowed different members of the team’s marketing staff, learning a wide range of skills, including graphic design, youth football and stadium sales. He also took part in the 49ers marketing department’s planning meetings leading up to the 2015 NFL Draft.
This offseason, Cleveland completed another internship, this time with Comcast Sportsnet in Washington D.C. as part of an NFL-sponsored program. During his stint with Comcast, Cleveland gained experience covering the NBA’s Washington Wizards, the NHL’s Washington Capitals and the University of Maryland’s men’s basketball team.
Cleveland was a versatile athlete growing up in Sacramento. He began playing soccer at the age of six and continued for eight years as a midfielder, until trying out for football as a freshman in high school. The baseball coaches at Christian Brothers High School tried to sway Cleveland into becoming a pitcher, but the aspiring tight end declined.
It’s safe to say that Cleveland inherited some of his athletic ability from his father, Allen, a former defensive end who spent time with the Dallas Cowboys in the late 1970s and was part of their 1977 Super Bowl championship team. He later went on to work for the California Department of Corrections. Cleveland’s mother, Javetta, is the deputy superintendent of the Berkeley (Calif.) School District.
Cleveland’s hobbies are bowling and bow-fishing.
TRANSACTION HISTORY: Signed with San Francisco as undrafted rookie May 12, 2014...waived Aug. 30...signed to 49ers’ practice squad on, Aug. 31...signed to active roster Sept. 20...waived Sept. 23...re-signed to practice squad, Sept. 25...re-signed to active roster, Nov. 27...traded to New England Aug. 18, 2015...waived Sept. 5...re-signed to Patriots’ practice squad, Sept. 8...signed to Patriots’ active roster, Nov. 28...waived Dec. 25...claimed by Chargers, Dec. 28.
2015: First NFL catch Nov. 29 at Denver...first NFL start Dec. 13 at Houston.
2014: NFL debut Sept. 21 at Arizona.
COLLEGE: 2013 Nick Chickillo Award as team’s Most Improved Player...saw action in 40 career games (10 starts), totaling 14 catches for 151 yards and 1 score...played at Miami from 2010-13...business major.