After he initially worked at both the free safety and the strong safety spots, the coaching staff decided to have him concentrate his efforts on mastering the nickel back position, which will allow him to get on the field as soon as possible, and where he can make an immediate contribution on defense.
In Missouri’s 58-14 season-opening win over Murray State, Singleton played on several special teams units, and he came in as the nickel back on defense in the second half. He was credited with 1 tackle in his Missouri debut.
Earlier this week, Singleton spoke with ShowMeMizzou.com about his first month at Missouri.
“I’m just happy to be here,” said Singleton. “I’m just excited to go.”
“I knew I was behind a little bit, but I know have a good mindset and the skills to come in and play,” explained Singleton. “I mean, I feel like I can play with anybody. Once I learn the defense, and get everything going, I know I’ll help the team the best way I can.”
Singleton said that he played in a similar defense in junior college, but that the terminology is different.
“We do some of the same things,” explained Singleton. “It’s a different style, different terminology. So, that’s basically what I’m trying to grasp right now, like the different calls and everything, making sure that I know where I’m supposed to be and line up right.”
“I’m just trying to get everything on the right page, and stay grounded,” continued Singleton. “I’m just basically trying to learn everything fast.”
By moving Singleton exclusively into the nickel back spot, the coaching staff hopes to simplify things for the junior safety, and be able to get him on the field as quickly as possible. But there’s still a lot to learn.
“I’m enjoying (playing the) nickel,” said Singleton. “I mean, I’m closer to the ball. I’m just looking forward to making plays and helping my team………………………………………….. We play a lot of everything. We play zone, (and) man. I still got to know everything.”
Singleton is currently the number two nickel back, behind Ian Simon. If Singleton is able to move up into the regular playing rotation, that would allow for the Tigers to play Simon some at the free safety position, where the Tigers could use another play maker at that position.
The book on Singleton is that he is solid in coverage, and that he’s also a very physical player who can come up and support with a purpose. Singleton talked about what he does well.
“I can cover,” said Singleton. “But man, I love to tackle! That’s one of my favorite things.”
Singleton said that he thinks he’s pretty close to getting into the regular playing rotation.
“Once they trust me that I know everything with the plays, I mean, I should be good,” explained Singleton, meaning that he expects to play regularly in the rotation at nickel back.
Hopefully, Singleton will get to see some action in the nickel this week against Toledo.