Sam Webb: Start off first by telling me how last season went for Drew.
Dwayne Singleton: “He learned a lot of football. It went real well for him. He pretty much grew up on the field this year. He had a couple interceptions, one was returned for a touchdown, had somewhere around 60 tackles in the regular season. He had a few in the playoffs. He did excellent as far as I am concerned. He learned a lot of football.”
Sam Webb: Describe his game for me, if you were a coach or scout in the stands, give me a scouting report.
Dwayne Singleton: “It is kind of funny because I always worked out with my kid. I have an older son that plays. He played at Nebraska and he has at the University of Northern Iowa now. I always looked at them as football players and not my son working out. I would say his game is more athletic, very athletic linebacker, kind of fearless. It doesn’t matter what’s going on, he’ll stick his head in there. He has those quick-twitch muscles. He high jumps 6-4 in high jump and he is just extremely athletic. He is extremely strong and he just wants to get his head in there any way he can. Athletic, strong… he runs track and has pretty good speed. He plays open in space, tackles very well. He is pretty much a linebacker that can stay on the field all game long. Some linebackers you have to take off the field because certain packages a team, he can’t play. But Drew can play anywhere… the spread, he can play against anything pretty much.”
Sam Webb: How many offers is he up to now?
Dwayne Singleton: “He has Michigan. He was offered by Alabama today. Michigan is definitely a huge, huge offer, a major big time offer. We like that one. Clemson, Alabama, Michigan, Rutgers and Boston College.”
Sam Webb: Take me through how the Michigan offer took place. Was it one that you saw coming or was it one that caught you guys by surprise?
Dwayne Singleton: “His (former) head coach, Coach Partridge is there. We were hoping that it was coming. I guess it did take us by surprise. We didn’t know when it was coming. It is a huge, great offer. I enjoyed hearing that. With Partridge there, the staff that they have there, Coach Jim Harbaugh… the list goes on and on. The education, the alumni, it is just a no brainer. If you’re not happy about that offer something is wrong. Something is majorly wrong. We were jumping up and down when they offered. We loved that.”
Sam Webb: Have you guys ever been to Michigan before?
Dwayne Singleton: “No, but we plan on being there maybe in June or maybe even in the summer. We definitely want to get there for sure.”
Sam Webb: When you talked to Drew what did he say he likes about Michigan and what does he know about Michigan at this point… other than Coach Partridge?
Dwayne Singleton: “He knows about Jim Harbaugh. He has ex-teammates there… Jabrill Peppers and he has Juwan Bushell-Beatty there. He talks to those guys. He knows about the history, he knows certain players, and stuff like that. He knows about the history and rivalry against Ohio State. He knows that the education is great. We’ve done a little homework on the Big Ten. We like the Big Ten and Michigan. If you know about the Big Ten, if you don’t mention Michigan first something is wrong. He loves what’s there. The coaching staff and of course we have to visit there for the whole atmosphere and everything… sit down and talk to people. He likes it. You have Partridge there, good people there that he feels (comfortable) and everything be okay. So he’ll feel like at home. I’ll be comfortable too knowing that there are good people there. I can’t speak enough about Michigan.”
Sam Webb: Tell me about Coach Partridge.
Dwayne Singleton: “We actually were looking for a high school in New Jersey to go to. My oldest son went to St. Peters and graduated from St. Peters. He did well. He was an All-American coming out of high school and everything. We were going to St. Peters, but Drew sat me down and said, ‘Dad, I don’t want to live in DJ’s shadow. I don’t want anyone comparing me to him. I want to write my own story.’ I said, ‘Wow!’ He was only 13 at the time. I said okay. A friend of mine said, ‘why don’t you look at Paramus Catholic. My sons go there and there is a young coach there. He’s changed the whole atmosphere there. He is the leader. He cares about the kids. He cares about the education.’ I said okay, ‘I’ll take a look.’ We went over there and I didn’t say a word. Drew said everything. Coach Partridge never talked to us about football. He didn’t talk to us about football until it was time for us to leave. For about an hour he just talked to us about academics and took us around the school and what the school offers. At the end, he took us into his office and talked to us about the upcoming season and the schedule, and I liked that. It wasn’t about football, it was about the kids’ educations. He really gave that impression and it stuck with me.
Stay tuned for part two for more from Mr. Singleton on their connection with Partridge, his son’s decision criteria, and more.