2017 Season Countdown: #78 Drew Singleton

2017 Season Countdown: #78 Drew Singleton


June 3, 2017

Drew Singleton (image via Scout)

Name: Drew Singleton
Height: 6’2″
Weight: 213 lbs.
High school: Paramus (NJ) Catholic
Position: Linebacker
Class: Freshman
Jersey number: #8
Last year: Singleton was a senior in high school. He made 12 tackles and forced 1 fumble before tearing his ACL.
TTB Rating: 83

Singleton suffered a torn ACL near the beginning of his senior year, wiping out that opportunity to continue to improve – but he did get a chance to play in Michigan Stadium, where his Paladins played their season opener. Despite the health issue, he still earned enough respect to finish the recruiting cycle as the 247 Composite’s #80 overall player and #4 outside linebacker.

Michigan will have two new starters at linebacker now that Jabrill Peppers and Ben Gedeon have graduated, but Singleton probably won’t be needed. Though he’ll be almost a full year removed from his injury, Michigan kept a short bench at linebacker in 2016 and has several other options. There’s no need to push Singleton into playing until he’s 100% healthy, and even then, he might not be up to speed the other guys. I could see him redshirting or playing a backup role, but either way, he probably won’t be a key player for the 2017 defense.

Prediction: Backup linebacker

15 comments

  1. Lanknows
    Comments: 3828
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Lanknows
    Jun 04, 2017 at 12:43 PM

    In part because the returning LB backups seem to be behind a walk-on, general consensus is that we need a freshman LB to contribute – as a backup, insurance against injury, and to be groomed as McCray’s replacement.

    With Mason’s reported move to FB there’s even more expectation that Ross, Singleton, or Anthony will be needed.

    You gave Singelton the highest TTB rank of the 3 so I’m surprised to see him this low. Is it mostly the injury or something else that puts him below Anthony and Ross?

    • Thunder
      Comments: 2614
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Jun 04, 2017 at 9:00 PM

      I’ve said before that I think Anthony has a good chance of playing early. But as I said in this post, there doesn’t seem to be a real reason to push Singleton to play early when he’s coming off of a torn ACL. The risk vs. reward isn’t worth it.

      • Painter Smurf
        Comments: 253
        Joined: 8/12/2015
        Painter Smurf
        Jun 04, 2017 at 11:22 PM

        Sans injury, Singleton would have been a lock to contribute this fall – instinctive, well-coached stud. Who knows now… I think the coaches will be motivated to groom 2/3 of the freshman LB’s this year. My sense is these ’17 LB’s are better than the ’16 LB’s who redshirted, so playing time opportunity is there.

        BTW, great to hear that Mason agreed to move to FB. He looked like a project at LB, so getting an early trial at FB makes sense.

        • Thunder
          Comments: 2614
          Joined: 7/13/2015
          Jun 05, 2017 at 8:03 AM

          We’ll see what happens, but I don’t think Don Brown has a long bench with his linebackers. I’ve said this before, so maybe I’m beating a dead horse, but what linebackers played in significant moments in 2016? Peppers, Gedeon, and McCray with a sprinkling of Bush and Furbush. The other guys (Gil, Uche, Hudson) were all used on special teams or only in blowouts.

          This year the three expected starters are Bush, McCray, and Hudson, and you’ll get some run out of Furbush. Furbush is a SAM, so who’s the guy that’s going to spell someone inside? Wroblewski seems to be a possible candidate, and I don’t know if he’s going to be beaten out by a true freshman who hasn’t played football in a year. Maybe the bench expands beyond that, but I haven’t seen any evidence that Brown is going to rotate a bunch of players in just for funsies.

          • Lanknows
            Comments: 3828
            Joined: 8/11/2015
            Lanknows
            Jun 05, 2017 at 11:03 AM

            Bush played a decent amount. That was in part because they knew they needed a replacement for Gedeon but also because if either Gedeon or McCray got dinged they needed to be able to plug a guy in.

            Fortunately, Gedeon and McCray were healthy all year, but the coaches prepared Bush anyway and his role was important to the team even if he was on the bench during most meaningful snaps. To me, a guy like Bush was in the top 40 most impactful players last year. Not many beyond that are seeing meaningful snaps (beyond special teams).

            • Thunder
              Comments: 2614
              Joined: 7/13/2015
              Jun 05, 2017 at 11:06 AM

              Fair enough, but Singleton isn’t Bush. Singleton isn’t hurt, and we have two straight classes with lots of bodies at LB. When Bush came in, he basically HAD to play because there were few players in the pipeline, and someone like Jared Wangler wasn’t going to play. This year there’s Singleton, Ross, Anthony, Mbem-Bosse, Wroblewski, Gil, Uche, etc.

              • Lanknows
                Comments: 3828
                Joined: 8/11/2015
                Lanknows
                Jun 05, 2017 at 11:09 AM

                That’s why I asked for clarification. Was wondering if you thought a freshman just wasn’t needed (which I disagree with) or if it was just an injury issue (I have no opinion on this.)

                On the injury issue – from what I’ve read 6 mo to a year is typical recovery. I have no idea if expecting SIngelton to be 100% is ‘pushing’ him or not. I do agree that the long-term is more important than the now, as with Newsome and others.

              • Lanknows
                Comments: 3828
                Joined: 8/11/2015
                Lanknows
                Jun 05, 2017 at 11:17 AM

                Your argument makes sense, but I disagree for a couple reasons.

                Other than the 3 freshman – all the same guys were here for Bush’s freshman year. The lack of buzz on guys like Gil/Mbem-Bosse/Wangler is telling IMO.

                Bush was just ahead of them – almost from day 1. I suspect you’ll see one of the freshman repeat that.

                I don’t have a good feel for which one. Singleton seems to be the most talented. Anthony seems like the closest thing to Bush. Ross probably has an advantage of familiarity with the program having been around so much.

                I would have liked for one of them to be here in the spring. (as I think Bush was).

              • Painter Smurf
                Comments: 253
                Joined: 8/12/2015
                Painter Smurf
                Jun 05, 2017 at 11:58 AM

                You are right. It is just a question of whether the incoming guys are better than Mbem-Bosse, Gil, and to a lesser extent Uche. I am not surprised those three did not play last year, as they were not what you might call advanced LB prospects. And not sure that any of them made much of a move this spring.I think UM is getting more advanced LBs this cycle.

                • Lanknows
                  Comments: 3828
                  Joined: 8/11/2015
                  Lanknows
                  Jun 05, 2017 at 1:00 PM

                  Uche is playing the OLB/Viper spot that seems pretty distinct from the 2 ILB positions.

                  Some of us have theorized that Furbush could slide back inside if needed – but it doesn’t sound like there’s been much of that in practice.

                  I know it’s called a linebacker spot, but there seem to be more similarities to the edge rusher WDE (rush the passer) or safety/nickel DB (cover in space) than the two ILB positions (shed blocks and stuff the run). Of course they want someone who can do all the above ideally….

                • Lanknows
                  Comments: 3828
                  Joined: 8/11/2015
                  Lanknows
                  Jun 05, 2017 at 1:05 PM

                  Gil actually played a lot (7 games including 4 at LB). People got excited about him since he helped keep the shutout going against Rutgers. But he didn’t play against FSU and generated no good buzz in the spring.

                  Usually special teams contributions are a good step 1 for LBs, but Gil seeming to fall back is discouraging since M needs to develop an heir to McCray.

                  I’m sure Thunder will discuss him later in the countdown.

          • Lanknows
            Comments: 3828
            Joined: 8/11/2015
            Lanknows
            Jun 05, 2017 at 11:07 AM

            So – who is this year’s version of Bush?

            I think it can be argued nobody – but that assumes Wroboleski and/or one of the returning scholarship players are in their. Those guys kind of had their shot in the spring and no one stepped up.

            When a walk-on who hasn’t played before is the top guy in spring, that usually means the spot is open. Given this is arguably the most impressive LB class Michigan has hauled in in a long while, there’s a pretty direct line to be drawn.

            • Thunder
              Comments: 2614
              Joined: 7/13/2015
              Jun 05, 2017 at 11:12 AM

              a) There doesn’t necessarily have to be someone ranked as high as Bush, because if there are more guys capable of doing it, then their combined abilities lower any one individual’s necessity.

              b) I said above that I think Anthony is likely to play early. And Ross has yet to be ranked. I think I’ve already answered your question.

              • Lanknows
                Comments: 3828
                Joined: 8/11/2015
                Lanknows
                Jun 05, 2017 at 11:19 AM

                Yes agreed. Like I said, my question was intended as a clarification on if it was injury or something else. I think you’re saying the injury is the main thing that sets him back from the other freshman. Thanks.

  2. GKblue
    Comments: 268
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    GKblue
    Jun 04, 2017 at 2:25 PM

    I was a little surprised as well. When I saw his TTB rank before I questioned his injury status, not his talent. So I am guessing this placement in the countdown represents an abundance of caution, or new info not as yet circulated. Of course the write up on Anthony and Ross may answer some questions.

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