Nick Singleton walked into a room at Gov High School. Mifflin Tuesday morning, expecting to be recognized and interviewed as the Gatorade Player of the Year in Pennsylvania.
At least that’s what his parents, Tim and Nichole told him.
When he sat down at a computer and saw Saquon Barkley’s face on the screen, he was in disbelief.
The former Penn State running back then told the future Penn State running back that he won the Gatorade National Football Player of the Year award.
“When Saquon told me, I was like, ‘Are you real? »National player of the year award? “Singleton said.” My parents were laughing and cheering me on.
“For someone like him to tell me I won the National Player of the Year award is crazy. I was really shocked. I am still shocked.
The 6-0, 218-pound Singleton joins an impressive list of award-winning athletes including Peyton Manning, Kyler Murray, Tim Couch and Joe Mauer. Ron Powlus of Berwick (1992-93) and Curtis Bray of Gateway (1987-88) were the only other winners from Pennsylvania.
“A lot of these players have won the Heisman Trophy in college football,” he said. “It feels good that my name is on it. “
Singleton had a spectacular career at Gov, Mifflin, setting Berks County records with 6,326 yards and 116 touchdowns. This season, he ran for 2,059 yards and scored 44 touchdowns and led the Mustangs to a 10-1 record, the Berks Football League Section 1 title and the District 3 Class 5A championship game.
Singleton plans to sign a national letter of intent with Penn State on Wednesday.
“It’s going to be good, I’ll tell you,” he said. “It’s going to take a lot of pressure off because there are always coaches who contact me (and) tell me it’s not too late to sign with another team. Once I sign this my stress will be relieved.
Previously, he was named one of 16 semi-finalists for Maxwell Football Club’s National Offensive Player of the Year award. He was selected to play in the US Army All-American Bowl in January and is ranked number 1 in the country in the 2022 category by On3.
“I love Nick in every way,” said Ryan Snyder, recruiting analyst for Blue-White Illustrated and affiliate of On3. “From a physical standpoint, he’s ahead of the majority of running backers Penn State has recruited in recent years.
“He’s incredibly strong and has a bit of disappointing speed for his size. There is nothing bad to say about Nick Singleton. He absolutely deserves to be the No. 1 running back in the country.
He is ranked as the fourth best running back in the country by 247Sports and ESPN.
“Singleton is just one of those guys who I think makes a difference,” said Tom Luginbill, national recruiting director and college football analyst for ESPN. “You have TreVeyon Henderson at Ohio State and other more high profile names that have already caused quite a stir. I would expect him to take the field early and often.
“He has power and explosiveness. He’s a very good running back who can mess people up in the hole.
The other two Gatorade Award finalists were Cade Klubnik, a quarterback from Austin, Texas, who pledged to Clemson, and Tetairoa McMillan, a wide receiver and defensive back from Anaheim, Calif., Who s’ is engaged in Oregon.
The Gatorade Player of the Year Award recognizes student-athletes for their exceptional athletic excellence, academic achievement and exemplary character.
Singleton has a GPA of 3.51 and has volunteered to coach in Governor Mifflin’s midget football program. He also participates in the Mifflin Elementary School Literacy Program.
To have Barkley, who is now with the New York Giants, break the news was appropriate because Singleton always admired him.
“Saquon had a big impact on me choosing Penn State just because you could see how he fared there,” Singleton said. “It’s the tradition of running back at Penn State. It’s not just him, but Miles Sanders, Journey Brown and Coach Seider (row back coach Ja’Juan Seider).
Many of the Singleton Mustangs were there when he learned of the honor.
“It was great having them there to cheer me on,” he said. “They were all screaming and screaming. These are the reasons why I got this award.
Jeff Lang, his coach at Mifflin, said Singleton’s award goes to the Mustangs’ entire football and school program.
“Not only is this an individual award for Nick, but it’s also an award for all of the players and coaches who have been with him over the past four years,” Lang said. “It’s for the linemen who blocked for him, the running backs who maybe sacrificed to get the ball back, the passing game because we had a kid like Nick who can give us yards when we do.” needed.
“It’s just an award for everyone who has been associated with Nick in the program. It is a tribute to all those who have followed the program.
2020-21: Jaxson Dart, Draper, Utah
2019-20: Arik Gilbert, Marietta, Georgia.
2018-19: Jake Smith, Scottsdale, Arizona.
2017-18: JT Daniels, Santa Ana, California.
2016-17: Tate Martell, Las Vegas
2015-16: Jacob Eason, Lake Stevens, Washington.
2014-15: Kyler Murray, Allen, Texas
2013-14: Andrew Brown, Chesapeake, Virginia.
2012-13: Max Browne, Sammamish, Washington.
2011-12: Johnathan Gray, Aledo, Texas
2010-11: Justin Worley, Rock Hill, South Carolina
2009-10: Malcolm Jones, Westlake Village, CA
2008-09: Garrett Gilbert, Austin, Texas
2007-08: Matt Barkley, Santa Ana, California.
2006-07: John Brantley, Ocala, Florida.
2005-06: Mitch Mustain, Springdale, Arche.
2004-05: Greg Paulus, Syracuse, New York State
2003-04: Jeff Byers, Loveland, Colorado.
2002-03: Kyle Wright, Danville, CA
2001-02: Lorenzo Booker, Ventura, CA
2000-01: Joe Mauer, St. Paul, Minn.
1999-00: Brock Berlin, Shreveport, Louisiana.
1998-99: Chris Lewis, Long Beach, California.
1997-98: Ronald Curry, Hampton, Virginia.
1996-97: Travis Minor, Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
1995-96: Tim Couch, Hyden, Ky.
1994-95: Brock Huard, Puyallup, Washington.
1993-94: Peyton Manning, New Orleans
1992-93: Ron Powlus, Berwick
1991-92: Chris Walsh, St. Paul, Minnesota.
1990-91: Marquette Smith, Lake Howell, Florida.
1989-90: Robert Smith, Euclid, Ohio
1988-89: Terry Kirby, Tabb. Virginia.
1987-88: Curtis Bray, Monroeville
1986-87: Emmitt Smith, Pensacola, Florida.
1985-86: Jeff George, Indianapolis