Wednesday, July 6, 2011
Tobias Singleton enrolled at Ole Miss
By Edward Aschoff
On Tuesday, Tobias Singleton confirmed to The Clarion Ledger that he had enrolled at Ole Miss. On Wednesday, he started summer school, a team spokesman confirmed to ESPN.com.
The NCAA Clearinghouse reviewed Singleton’s high school transcript after his ACT score increased from a 16 to a 24. The Clearinghouse is accustomed to reviewing such high jumps in scores, so it came as no surprise when Singleton was flagged.
Getting Singleton on campus and ready to compete this summer is pretty big news for the Rebels. Singleton, who ESPN Recruiting ranked as the No. 21 receiver in the country and the No. 128 player overall in the 2011 recruiting class, finished his senior season at Madison (Miss.) Madison Central with more that 1,800 yards of total offense and 19 touchdowns.
With the Rebels short on proven playmakers at wide receiver, the 6-foot-1, 190-pounder is expected to compete immediately for playing time.
Singleton not only possesses quality speed, but he's extremely elusive in the open field. He's someone Ole Miss' coaches are hoping they can use early in the Rebels' offense.
Ole Miss is in desperate need for receiving weapons. Running back Brandon Bolden was Ole Miss' leading receiver last year, grabbing 32 passes for 344 yards. Returning junior Melvin Harris was second in receptions with 30 and had 408 receiving yards. The only other receiver returning with double-digit catches from 2010 is Ja-Mes Logan (29 catches for 387 yards).
The Rebels currently have no proven downfield threat or a receiver who makes defenses adjust what they do. It's still too early to ask Singleton to be that player, but there's no doubt that Ole Miss' staff is expecting him to be that kind of player down the road.
This spring, offensive coordinator David Lee had mixed emotions when discussing his receiving corps. While there were flashes here and there by players, the one consistent factor was the knack for dropping passes.
One real bright spot was redshirt freshman Vince Sanders, who had a game-high 96 receiving yards in the spring game and possesses that big-play ability the Rebels are seeking on offense.
Now, the focus is grooming Singleton, who will be joined by fellow in-state receiver Nickolas Brassell. Brassell is more of a slasher on offense and caught 52 passes for 877 yards and 13 touchdowns as a senior.
It's not ideal to put freshmen in these kinds of situations, but the Rebels' coaches won't be afraid to play true freshmen. The Rebels need them and the freshmen will have to learn very quickly if they want to make meaningful contributions to a team looking to rebound from a sloppy 4-8 campaign from a year ago.