If you missed part one of this story, click here.
Sam Webb: So when Partridge started talking football to Drew, what did he say?
Dwayne Singleton: “I’ll never forget. He said to Drew, ‘what do you want from me and what do you expect out of me?’ I liked that question. Drew said, ‘coach I expect to be treated fairly. I expect to be coached, coached well, and coached hard. My dad coaches me hard.’ Then (Partridge) said, ‘what should I expect out of you?’ Drew said, ‘I’m going to play varsity as a freshman.’ Everyone in the room laughed. I looked at Drew and he didn’t crack a smile. He told Coach Partridge, ‘I’m going to play as a freshman.’ Partridge looked at him and he stopped laughing. He said, ‘okay, we’ll see. Not many freshman will be able to do that, but we’ll see.’”
“We got in the car and he said, ‘dad, I’m coming (to Paramus Catholic). This is the school for me. I want to play for (Partridge). I said, ‘okay, no problem.’ Coach Partridge called me I guess at the beginning of the summer when they started working out and he said, ‘Dwayne listen, I’ve got to tell you. (Drew) is aggressive, he’s fast, he’s strong, and he’s fearless as a freshman right now. He’s really living up to (his promise that he’d be good enough to play varsity). So I’m going to play him a little bit on varsity,’ and he did. He had a few tackles. One game he had six tackles. He played well. He had an interception as a freshman. The rest is history. Partridge has always informed me about what’s going on with Drew and what I need to do as far as his recruitment when it starts picking up. We had a connection and we still have a connection. I really felt like he cared about these kids and he did the right thing by them. A lot of kids came there and he put them in schools that were fitting for the kid. Everyone wants to go to the big school. Everybody wants to go to Florida, Georgia, and Michigan. He placed kids and put kids in situations where they were going to be successful and I like that about him. He’s young and fiery. He changed the whole atmosphere at this school and I love that. I call him. He picks up his phone. I never have to call him twice or leave a text message, he answers right away. The guy is just unbelievable.”
Sam Webb: So Drew spent a year as Jabrill’s teammate. What was that like for him?
Dwayne Singleton: “Yeah as Jabrill’s teammate. That was so huge for him as a freshman because he learned so much on how to lead, what to say, when to be quiet. When to let those guys lead. He learned a lot and that was awesome for him.”
Sam Webb: Let’s pretend he’s at the point where he was getting ready to sit down and make a decision, what are going to be the most significant factors in his choice?
Dwayne Singleton: “I don’t want to sound cliché, but of course education. We want to get a great education #1, and that’s always the case and that’s always the goal. No matter what that’s always the goal. Location is never a problem. It doesn’t matter going far or staying close. The atmosphere. There are three things that count, academics, the school itself – the atmosphere and also just the overall feel. It is what he feels about the school and how comfortable he is, and also my wife and I. How comfortable we are and the staff there. Coaches move around, but like I always told Drew, you don’t commit to a particular coach per se, but you commit to the program and institution. So if a coach decides he takes another job, you’re not out of sorts because you committed to the school because you love the school. I hate to do it to him, but what if you bang your knee up or blow out a knee or blow out an ankle and you’re a regular student? Could you see yourself getting up every day without football and going to class? If you can do that and you like the school itself, the academics, the staff, the people there, the town, then guess what? That’s the school for you. If you can’t see yourself doing that without football, then we’re off track. We’ll find a school that is going to be a good fit for you. It’s all of that. It is the community around the school, academics, alumni, the program of course, everything. The whole gamut. Right now it is so early in the game I don’t even want to (talk favorites), but Michigan… I can say when we sit down a year-and-a-half from now, Michigan will be probably be a forerunner.”
Sam Webb: Looking ahead with Drew have you thought about a timeline for his decision? Are you going to encourage Drew to wait until signing day or are you guys going to try and get it done earlier than that?
Dwayne Singleton: “I’ve been through the recruiting process with my other son and we actually went at it a little early, before his senior season started. I told him, ‘let’s go ahead and get it done.’ With Drew, I’ll give him a little more leeway. I want him to be more comfortable. When you go around the second time around you want to do this thing exactly the way he wants it done, but I want him to do it in a timely fashion too. He needs to focus on finishing high school and playing good football too. So I can’t really say about timeline. I don’t want him to go too early and I don’t want him to go last minute either, but I don’t want to push him either way. We’ll just hang out and wait to see what comes in and what he thinks is a good fit for him. Ultimately, my wife and I will help him along and help him make that decision. There are sometimes when a 16-year-old may see something different. I hate to say it, but they might see a flashy uniform that throws these guys off, or an exciting school or what have you. This is the ‘hot school’. Well it may not be the school for you. It is a hot school right now, they’re winning or what have you, but they might not have what you need. There are a bunch of factors. We’re going to take our time and let it play out. There is a certain school he has in his mind right now that probably could be a forerunner, and Michigan for sure is one.”