UPDATE 12/19: Singleton officially signed with Rutgers.
The Rutgers football coaching staff continues to put work on the recruiting trail leading up to signing day. The Scarlet Knights secured a commitment from transfer linebacker Drew Singleton out of Paramus Catholic. Singleton had enrolled at Michigan, but decided to move on in October and was granted his release, as reported by our friends at Maize n Brew. Drew tweeted earlier today:
Despite missing his senior year of high school with a torn ACL, the Union City native chose Michigan offers from twenty-three other Power Five schools per 247sports. Rutgers was among the seven finalists, but Singleton elected to follow former coach Chris Partridge to Ann Arbor. At 6’2” and 219 pounds, Drew was a borderline five-star prospect, the best in New Jersey (one spot ahead of #2 Micah Clark) from the entire 2017 class according to the 247 composite.
Per Maize n Brew, Singleton was in the thick of the WILL linebacker competition in training camp but was ultimately edged slightly for a spot on the two-deep. He moved on from the Wolverines because he was unable to get on the field on the nation’s top ranked defense. Having redshirted in 2017 and playing snaps in 2018, Drew will be a redshirt sophomore in 2019. To be eligible immediately, he would need the Big Ten to grant him a hardship waiver which is still required when players transfer in conference.
I like the pickup because as mentioned with the Nihym Anderson transfer, Rutgers is thin at the linebacker spot beginning in 2019. Singleton is at worst a four-star prospect who will compete hard in practice and provide depth in 2019 even if not yet eligible. If he can play in 2019, he probably will be starting at weakside or middle linebacker. Tyshon Fogg has primarily worked at the WILL position, but was very productive starting at middle linebacker in the season finale. Fogg is also a four star talent so it will be interesting to see which player gets reps in the middle versus the outside. The wildcard would be if the staff elected to move starting strong-side linebacker Tyreek Maddox-Williams into the middle. My guess right now is that Fogg would get the first shot at middle because he has been in Jay Niemann and Chris Ash’s defense for a longer period of time than Singleton with Maddox-Williams staying put.
The first thing that jumps out from the high school highlights is that he plays fast. Then Drew is able to adjust quickly using his elite athleticism. Best case scenario is he turns into the next Steve Longa and has three productive seasons.
There’s really only two questions coming off the injury three years ago and the answers may be simple if Singleton was just barely off the two-deep of the fastest defense in the country at Michigan. 1. Can Drew play coverage at the Big Ten level? He has the physical tools and showed excellent cover skills in high school prior to the injury, but needs to show it in a Big Ten game. 2. Is he healthy enough to take a pounding every week on a surgically repaired knee? Unlike every other position at Rutgers, at least there’s a plan B with so many incoming freshmen to offset the loss of three-year starters Deonte Roberts and Trevor Morris.
Singleton joins fellow linebackers Mohamed Toure, Juwan Mitchell, Zukudo Igwenagu, and Chris Conti committed in the Rutgers 2019 class so far. The thirteen total verbal commits thus far each have a 3-star rating in the latest 247 composite rankings. Prior to Singleton’s commitment, the current class was ranked 67th nationally and 13th in the Big Ten per 247 Sports.
Here are some of his highlights from high school:
Welcome to the banks Drew! It’s a day to be happy for Scarlet Knight fans, the first one in quite some time.