December 7, 2010

Singleton sets announcement date -- sort of

MOBILE, Ala. -- Like the rest of his Team Mississippi mates, Tobias Singleton was bundled up a bit Tuesday on a brisk day in lower Alabama.

It was quite a contrast from the elements he enjoyed 72-96 hours earlier in southern California during his official visit to UCLA, one in which he checked out the beaches, hung out in Westwood with Bruins coach Rick Neuhiesel and took in a rivalry game at the Rose Bowl.

"I love it up there," Singleton said of Los Angeles.

Thanks to a strong official visit, UCLA has a shot at Singleton, a four-star prospect from Madison (Madison Central), Miss., who is ranked by as the No. 3 prospect in Mississippi as well as the No. 12 wide receiver nationally. Arkansas does as well. However, most expect Singleton to decide between Egg Bowl rivals Ole Miss and Mississippi State.

A large collection of Bulldog commitments were pulling good-naturedly pulling on Singleton Tuesday. There is plenty of pressure from the Rebel side of things as well.

"It's kind of hard," Singleton said. "Sometimes, I don't even want to answer the phone. It's just the process of being one of the top players in Mississippi."

Singleton said his decision will "basically" come down to a choice of the two in-state rivals, UCLA and Arkansas. Oklahoma, once a major factor in Singleton's recruiting, has been out of touch somewhat, though Singleton wouldn't rule out a visit to the Norman campus.

Singleton said Ole Miss' sales pitch is the development of former junior college all-American quarterback Randall Mackey and "they're always telling me they have a young O-line. I'm going to go see for myself."

Mississippi State, meanwhile, is selling the talents of young quarterbacks Tyler Russell and Dylan Favre.

"I've been watching those guys," Singleton said. "I'm just cooling right now. On Jan. 8, I'm going to make my decision."

Jan. 8, of course, is the date of the U.S. Army All-American Game in San Antonio. That figures to come before official visits to Ole Miss, Mississippi State and/or Arkansas, meaning "anything might pop up," Singleton said. "I'm going to let them know. I'm not going to keep anybody waiting on me."

This week, however, Singleton is trying not to worry about the decision that looms in a month or two. Instead, he's trying to enjoy a reward and prepare for Saturday's Mississippi-Alabama All-Star Classic at Ladd-Peebles Stadium.

"It's a blessing," Singleton said. "Not too many people in Mississippi can say they played in the Mississippi versus Alabama game. So to come out here and play with some of the best players in Mississippi, I just thank God. He put me in a position where I can go and make something of my life. I'm happy for that."

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