The Blue Devils will lose a lot of talent and experience from their defensive backs next season, and are looking to reload for the years ahead with the recruiting class of 2013. Two defensive back prospects are already on campus in Evrett Edwards and Quay Mann, but the staff remains in pursuit of another talented prospect. Deondre Singleton is a 6’1″ 185 pound safety from Archer High School in Lawrenceville, Georgia. He finished his senior season with 47 tackles, 14 pass break-ups, 2 interceptions and 2 recovered fumbles. With over a dozen scholarship offers, he has been in high demand, but has named a top three of Appalachian State, Duke, and Penn State. Deondre is looking forward to his official visit in Durham this weekend.
How did your senior season go?
We definitely made history this year, knowing that this year was actually our first winning season at the varsity level in this region, 6A. And we came up short a little bit. We had played a couple of games that we should have won, lost by close, like two to three points, and which really made the difference between us making the playoffs and not making the playoffs. But everything we played, we played very well. I expected to play as well as we did, but we played very well. I think I had a pretty good season, not a great season, but I did pretty good this year.
You played some on both sides of the ball in high school; where do college coaches talk to you about playing at the next level?
A lot of college coaches, they talk to me, they like me as corner because of my height, but they also see me as being able to play safety because of my ball skills and my being able to tackle.
What do you think are your strengths that you will bring to the college level as a defensive back?
I’m very good at baiting quarterbacks and reading, you know, to tell what a quarterback’s going to do before they do it. I’m very good at helping people get lined up and make sure everybody knows what to do and make sure we’re in the right coverage and whatnot at the right time.
What are the most important things you are looking for in a college?
First, a program that’s either they’re– I mean, going somewhere where I’m guaranteed a great education and a great degree. And then I want to go somewhere where I feel like I’m at home, where I can feel like I can trust everybody, the coaches and players as well, and that the community around the college is very strong and supportive.
Where do you stand with scholarship offers and which schools have been recruiting you the hardest?
Right now I have 13 offers, but the three schools that have been recruiting me the hardest are Duke, App State and Penn State.
Have you had a chance to visit any schools yet?
I’ve taken a visit to App State and I’ve taken a visit to Penn State in December, on the 6th.
What did you like about those visits?
Well, at Penn State, things were very encouraging. They’re very cool and stuff, but they really had a purpose of their trying to win despite their sanctions and all that stuff. They’re trying to produce great ballplayers and great men. So that was one good thing about them. And then App State, they’re doing the same thing, but they’re moving up. They’re trying to move up and expand and become a full FBS program and their players, they just produce players and turn them into the NFL, stuff like that. They care about their players.
Which coaches have been recruiting you from Duke and what have you talked with them about?
I talked a lot with Coach Jones, and Coach Knowles the defensive coordinator, they both visited last week on Saturday. Yeah, last week on Saturday, and it was nice. They just came down and talked a lot about how Duke is on the rise and how this year they went back to a bowl, to their first bowl game in like eighteen or nineteen years, or something like that. And we just talked a lot about that and what the education there is like, what kinds of jobs it opens up and opportunities with them, how they’re really starting to care more about football there now. So the coaches are really turning the program and the community around.
Growing up in the South and with other football players in your family, are there schools that you’ve grown up following?
Not really, but my cousin, he coached in ACC for a long time and he still does at Maryland. But not really any specific school right now. I mean, I always liked Clemson growing up.
You obviously have your visit scheduled to Duke for this weekend. When do you think you will make your final decision?
I don’t know. I’ll probably wait a couple weeks after I go to Duke. It’s just to make sure I don’t have anywhere else I’m going before I make my decision.