6’3″, 200 pounds
St. Peters Prep
Jersey City, NJ
Scout — Four Stars, No. 14 Safety in the Nation
Rivals — Three Stars, No. 42 Safety in the Nation, No. 21 New Jersey Recruit
247 Sports — Three Stars
ESPN — Four Stars, No. 18 Safety in the Nation
If there were any Badgers fans who had doubts the Wisconsin staff is putting together a special 2012 recruiting class, the latest commitment —safety D.J. Singleton, of Jersey City, New Jersey — should erase any questions. It’s August and Singleton’s verbal gives the 2012 recruiting class six four-star recruits based on Scout.com’s ratings. When the 2011 recruiting class runs out onto the Camp Randall field for the first time a week from Thursday, there will be just one four-star recruit among them — linebacker Jake Keefer, of Baldwin, Wis.
The early commitment from the high-upside New Jersey athlete was another big boost for what could be the program’s highest rated recruiting class ever, but it came as somewhat of a surprise. A Rivals post from last Sunday said Singleton “isn’t close to making a decision.”
“I’m definitely going to take official visits to Wisconsin and Rutgers. That’s all I know for now,” Singleton said at the time.
So, what changed? Perhaps the defensive back saw the Badgers recruiting class filling up quickly and wanted to make sure he didn’t miss out on his spot.
“I was going to wait until my Grandfather’s birthday to commit which is in October, but that’s a long time from now, so I decided to go ahead and commit to Wisconsin now,” Singleton told Junior Rank after making his commitment. “The coaches were really excited when I committed and they thought I was really the last piece of the puzzle for them, so it was just a great time for everyone involved.
“Coach B is really down to earth and the City of Madison is really beautiful in itself. When I went up there, at first I really didn’t know what to expect to be honest with you. You go into your visit expecting farm land, but the city was just great.”
Singleton also had Big Ten offers from Illinois, Michigan, Michigan State, Nebraska and Purdue. He was offered by handful of other schools including Georgia Tech, Miami (FL), Tennessee and Rutgers, which was Singleton’s second favorite offer.
The Thomas Hammock recruit is an impressive athlete. At 6’3″ and 200 pounds as a high school senior and with the ability already to bench 275 pounds, he has the size and strength to play linebacker in college, but he also has the skills and speed (4.46 40-yard dash) to play in the secondary, where he’d certainly give some receivers second thoughts before they go up for a pass. Singleton is bigger than most NFL safeties, much less his future college football peers.
“Singleton plays safety with the physicality and toughness of a linebacker,” ESPN says. “With continued physical development, he will likely end up there in college and could get recruited as an OLB. (He) is tall with a long wingspan and body, which has a lot of room to fill out.”
His high school coach, Rich Hansen, agreed.
“Athletically he’s phenomenal,” Hansen told Badger 247. “He has a great work ethic, tremendous motor, and the best part about it is D.J., he’s not even close to the type of football player he’s going to be.
“That’s the exciting part for the school he’s going to. I think he’s going to be a 220-pound safety or outside linebacker, and he can also run the football. He’s an unknown entity in that facet. They’re getting a dynamic, explosive defensive player, and like I said, it’s the tip of the iceberg for him.”
Click HERE for a great package of highlights of D.J. Singleton.
With his recruitment over, Singleton is now hoping to join Badger verbal commits quarterback Bart Houston and offensive lineman Walker Williams in the Semper Fidelis All-American Game this January.
“Playing in that game would be a great honor because it’s sponsored by the Marine Corps and it is going to be the first ever and I believe it will be the best of the bowl games,” Singleton told Junior Rank. “I’m really hoping that they pick me to play in the game so I can go out to Arizona with the caliber of players they have at the camps.”