Paramus (N.J.) Catholic linebacker Drew Singleton insists his recruitment is wide open, but it’s clear that two of his suitors are off to great starts in the race for his services. In successive weekends to begin the month the talented youngster and his family visited Michigan and them Clemson.
They came away extremely impressed with each.
"Well Clemson... it was my wife's first time there but it was me and Drew's second time,” Singleton’s father Dwayne told The Michigan Insider. “It always felt like a family environment. Those guys were straight-shooters. They told us how they felt about Drew. They told my wife what the deal was and it seems like a very stable program. We were very impressed. The people there (and) very genuine. (Dabo Sweeney) graduates a lot of his kids. A lot of people may not know his record, he knows how many seniors he has. If I'm not mistaken (out of) 135 seniors, he's graduated 129. That's pretty impressive to me. He's getting kids graduating and not with just any type of degree… (they’re) graduating where they can be a functional adult with a good education and doing something other than football if that's the case. Of course, it's a great football program and he's got a lot of guys playing at the next level or going to the next level. It's awesome. It was just impressive. (It was) good to feel that and see that and my wife enjoyed the show. Drew enjoyed it and it was good all the way around."
The week prior Michigan struck a similar chord with the younger Singleton, and the people in Ann Arbor left an indelible mark on his parents.
"One thing that really impressed me was Tyran Steward. He's a (history) professor there at Michigan,” Mr. Singleton said. “When he spoke to my wife and I, it really jumped up and slapped us in the face. When you don't even know about Michigan (in depth), you know about the academics. You know about how things are done and what type of alumni the school has and everything. But when you get there and you feel it, it's totally different. It is what they say it is and more. Once you get there, they just took it to a whole different level academically. I met with (Ross School of Business Director of Outreach Programs) Rhonda Todd. She handles a lot of things and helps incoming freshmen with how to prepare for and apply to the Ross Business School, which is one of the top business schools in the country. It was awesome. That stuff really stood out for my wife and I. We know football is going to be good. You've got Jim Harbaugh, Don Brown, Tyrone Wheatley… (football) is going to take care of itself. But the other part, the other intangibles, I was just blown away along with my wife. That really stuck with us and we're still talking about it now. Very good. Extremely good."
For Drew, who had been to Ann Arbor on three prior occasions, a different aspect of the visit shone the brightest.
"It was the love the fans,” Mr. Singleton stated. “After doing the radio show (part one of which is featured above) we got to Schembechler Hall and everybody knew about the radio show. The coaches and one or two of the players said, ‘that was a good show this morning.’ We had just left the studio, just now. Fans (were) standing outside and they knew. He was like, ‘whoa man! These fans… wow!’ That stuck with Drew. For a kid playing ball, you want that. You want fans that go crazy and supportive, no matter what. You want that. That part of it stuck out as well. He enjoyed it. He enjoyed seeing the love that Rashan got, seeing the love that the other recruits got. (He received) similar love from the coaches. He sat down with Coach Brown and he was a straight shooter, just like Jim Harbaugh. They're just all coming out and saying this is what it is… this is what we feel about you… we're not going to pull any punches. No time to play around. This is not a recruiting thing where we're going to show you the player's lounge and show you this or that… this is what we're doing and this is where you need to be.’ That was it. It was cut and dry and I really liked that. I liked that just as much as the fans and education and everything. Like my wife said at the radio station, don't tell me one thing and do another. These guys were like, 'this is it.' And you felt it, that this is what we're saying and this is what we're going to be."
Stay tuned for part two of this interview for word on the potential for an expedited timeline.