Out of everything that transpired on the first day of the Early Signing Period, what the Miami football program did for the family of Colby Singletary was arguably the classiest. Actually, it was inarguably the classiest.
Singletary grew up a fan of Miami Hurricanes football and dreamed of playing football for The U. While Singletary, who was also a two-time state champion in wrestling, held football scholarship offers from the likes of Buffalo, Southern Miss and Troy, he hadn’t yet earned one from his preferred school. He had even talked about walking on with the Hurricanes if need be.
Sadly, none of that ever came to fruition as the 18-year-old Singletary, who wasn’t wearing a seatbelt at the time, was killed in a single-car crash this past July. His girlfriend, who was wearing her seatbelt, was a passenger and survived.
Fast-forward to Wednesday, when Singletary’s family took part in a signing ceremony at Palmetto Ridge High School that made their son a posthumous preferred walk-on at Miami. The family had been kept in the dark about the surprise until the day before it took place.
“He and I were huge Miami fans, we watched the games every Saturday and went to quite a few of them as well,” Casey Singletary, the late young man’s father, told the Naples Daily News. “It didn’t look like it would be possible. They started looking at him his junior year but I don’t know if they were going to offer him a scholarship. I told him maybe we should look at some other schools and he wasn’t having it. He told me, ‘I’ll walk on if I have to and I’m going to start there one day.”
With the help of the U-M football staff, the genesis for such an emotional ceremony started shortly after Singletary’s death. From the News:
It was with that in mind that the wheels started being put in motion this summer by the Palmetto Ridge football and wrestling coaching staff. Defensive coordinator and recruiting director PJ Gibbs reached out to Miami outside linebackers coach Jonathan Patke — who had been recruiting Singletary — to see if they could make something happen.
He went through NCAA compliance and texted me a few weeks ago that everything was good to go,” Gibbs said. “I spoke to him on the phone and he sent me the letter. This is a great day for Colby’s family and like I said, it was going to happen regardless because this was his dream school. We would have worked toward a preferred walk-on or a scholarship for Colby had July not happened.
Bravo to all involved in this sweet gesture for a family that’s certainly still grieving their loss.Follow @cftalk