Entering his senior season, University of Minnesota defensive back and former Bradwell Tiger, Marcus Singletary said hard work, patience and perseverance have paid off.
Singletary has played in nine games and is set to see action tomorrow as his team prepares to battle Big 10 Conference opponent Iowa at 11 a.m. The game is to be televised on ESPN.
To date, Singletary has 1 unassisted tackle and 3 assisted tackles.
The Golden Gophers record is 6-5 overall and 3-4 in the Big 10. Saturday’s game is in Iowa City.
Singletary briefly attended Rainy River Community College and said when he transferred to Minnesota he was one credit short, forcing him to sit out a season.
"Everything didn’t come as easy as I thought it would," he said. "I thought I could just rely on my talent because I catch on real quick. But when I went from playing defensive back at the high school level to the junior college I really didn’t understand it because I got a late start. And in junior college we only had three coaches, so as far as having a position coach to mold me I didn’t have that. I was just relying on my skills."He said he had to earn his playing time on the scouting teams and work diligently to improve his skills.
"I didn’t see action the first year I got here, which, you know, normally other folks would have given up," he said. "But I couldn’t give up and I stuck it out and here I am this year and I got to play nine games so far and we have Iowa this weekend."
Minnesota has clinched a BCS bowl and Singletary said depending on the outcome against Iowa they are likely to be in the Alamo Bowl or the Champs Sports Bowl.
"I hope we take it one play at a time and win out because if we go to the Champs Bowl I’ll be closer to home," he said. "The Champs Bowl is in Orlando.
Playing for a Big 10 team is what Singletary called humbling.
"It’s like WHOA because I can remember sitting at my house in Hinesville and I remember watching the University of Minnesota on TV when Lawrence Mahoney used to play," he said. "And it’s like whoa, I’m out here. I’m not watching I’m actually out here."
The senior is majoring in communications and would like to become a motivational speaker, a broadcaster or work at the Nike corporate headquarters. But, as with most college football players, Singletary will keep his eye on the NFL as well.
"I’m open for it," he said. "I feel if God wants me to get to the NFL… I don’t want to go the NFL for myself. If I get the opportunity to play for the NFL I want to be able to help open the doors for others and encourage people. Never be afraid to go after your dreams, but at the same time know that nothing is going to come easy and you got to be willing to work hard. I’m not the most talented person. I wasn’t in high school. I just believe in hard work."
Singletary said he is thankful first and foremost to God.
"My father Liston Singletary III and my mother Debra Porter and all my friends that have truly been behind me, especially Gary Guyton," he said. "We talk all the time and he’s been keeping my head up. He’s the name in Hinesville you know. He went Division I so I told myself I want to go Division I. He went to the NFL. Well I want to go to the NFL. There is always somebody that is ahead of you that you can look up to. And he told me since day one don’t give up and work hard and hopefully one day I’ll get that chance to play on Sundays."