Asante Cleveland is a Sacramento, Calif., native who has spent time with the San Francisco 49ers, New England Patriots and Chargers. He’s appeared in 14 games during his career.
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 staff, learning skills that included graphic design, youth football and stadium sales. He also took part in the team’s planning meetings leading up to the 2015 NFL Draft.
In 2016, Cleveland completed a second internship with Comcast Sportsnet in Washington D.C. as part of an NFL program. At 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 has a deep and distinctive voice. Recently, he’s given thought to work as a voice actor after his playing days come to an end. In a twist of fate, Cleveland had an opportunity to meet one of the industry’s most well-known voice actors before a Chargers-Raiders game last October in Oakland. Dennis Haysbert, better known as the behind-the-scenes voice in Allstate Insurance commercials, is a lifelong Raiders fan and he happened to be at the Bolts-Raiders game at O.co Coliseum. Cleveland and Haysbert had a chance to meet pregame, and the two exchanged contact information and have kept in touch.
Cleveland 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 (Sacramento, Calif.) High 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 NFC and Super Bowl XII 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...waived Sept. 4, 2016...re-signed to Chargers’ practice squad, Sept. 6...signed to active roster, Sept. 24...re-signed with Chargers, March 13, 2017.
2016: Saw action Weeks 3-4 and 9-10.
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.
PERSONAL: Born in Sacramento, Calif. ...all-league as junior at Christian Brothers High in Sacramento.