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Singled out

L-E alum Jared Singleton enters Wofford Hall of Fame

Posted: September 6, 2018 11:24 a.m.
Updated: September 7, 2018 1:00 a.m.
Photo courtesy of Wofford Athletics/

L-E GRADUATE JARED SINGLETON will be inducted into the Wofford Athletic Hall of Fame Saturday.

Some dread it as much as a trip to the dentist. Others use their time at the lectern to deliver a flowery speech which has little or no relevance to many guests in the audience.

Take your pick between those and other variations of hall of fame induction speeches. Rest assured, when Jared Singleton steps up to the microphone for his induction into the Wofford College Athletic Hall of Fame at Saturday’s luncheon prior that evening’s Terrier football game with visiting VMI, there will be no rustling or shuffling of paper. The 2009 Lugoff-Elgin graduate will not read off a script. In fact, there will be no script; this speech will be delivered from the heart of a young man who has plenty of it.

“Certain things I believe in writing speeches for,” said Singleton, a 2013 Wofford grad with a degree in finance, “but moments like this, I kind of have an outline of what I want to touch, but I really going to talk from the heart. 

“I’m not going to write anything down. It’s going to come from the heart because I want it to be raw emotion. I don’t want it to be scripted. I don’t want it to feel like it was planned. I just want it to be the raw emotion of how I feel at that moment.”

Less than five years removed from his final college football game, Singleton admitted to being caught off guard when he was called by Wofford athletic director Richard Johnson to inform his of his being inducted into the school’s athletic hall of fame.

“I just couldn’t get over it when he told me. I thought that I was too young and there were a lot of other great players who could have been part of this class. I’m very thankful and blessed,” Singleton said. “Really, it’s a blessing and an honor to even be recognized as a hall of famer. To be going in along with the other great athletes in this class, I’m still taking it all in.”

Now a credit manager working in finance for a global manufacturing company in the Upstate, Singleton’s college career was marked by highlights and honors. A three-time All-Southern Conference selection, he is still second in Wofford history with 562 knockdown blocks. As a senior in 2013, he started all 11 games at center and was named All-Southern Conference first team by the coaches and second team by the media. Singleton led the team with 175 knockdown blocks en route to earning Associated Press third team All-American and AFCA first team All-America. At season’s end, he was named recipient of the Remington Award for the top Division I-FCS center.

Those awards, regardless of how long Singleton had been removed from graduation from Wofford, were too long a list to dismiss when it came to the right time for his alma mater to honor a young man who was humble in talking about what it has all meant to him.

“Any award that I received is because of having had great teammates, coaches and being on some awesome teams,” he said of play in two SoCon titlists. “I wish that I could write the names of the other four linemen that I played with, the running backs, fullbacks and skill guys on this award because it really is a team honor. I look forward to giving them a lot of recognition Saturday.”

Singleton’s four-year playing career at Wofford was not bad for someone who came out of L-E as an offensive tackle, was moved to right guard as a college freshman before eating his way to playing center during his redshirt season. Fate, and the fork, played roles in his fortuitous move.

“I gained too much weight in the offseason and they moved me to center,” he said with a laugh. “I actually lost all that weight but, they kept me at center. 

“It’s always a blessing when  you can eat whatever you want and then, get moved to a better position without even knowing what’s going to happen. It certainly was a blessing in disguise.”

While some of his biggest accomplishments came in Spartanburg, Singleton remains the smiling, happy-go-lucky, big kid from Lugoff. He credits his parents for instilling the values in him which he lives by to this day. Wofford was an extension of how he was told to live his life and when now-retired Terrier head coach Mike Ayers reached out to Singleton with an offer to join the Wofford program, the 2008 Shrine Bowl selection shut down his recruitment.

“Wofford was a place I could go even if I didn’t play football which really solidified it for me,” he said after being wooed by The Citadel, Presbyterian and other FCS programs. “Wofford just had a different take. Their alumni base is strong as far as opportunities outside of football are concerned. They  had a standard of excellence which was something that I’ve always heard from my parents to strive for. When I heard that Wofford had that same principle, that same mindset, it really made it easy for me to transition from high school to college.”

While calling Ayers a “second father” at Wofford, Singleton said his road to college and beyond was paved by those coaches who took an interest in him and helped guide him along while playing for the Demons. More than helping him on the field, he said his high school coaches helped prepare him for the rigors of the classroom and then, the football field at Wofford.

“The understanding that I received beforehand from coach (Scott) Jones, coach (Jamie) Gardner, coach (Eddie) Deese, coach (Scott) Stogner; those coaches who had a lot of experience with guys going to the next level, kind of let me know what it was going to be like,” he said.

Who knows what teammates, coaches, teachers, friends and family members will be part of Jared Singleton’s induction speech come Saturday afternoon. Heck, not even he will know until the words flow from his lips. For now, he is enjoying the ride as he prepares to become a permanent part of Wofford’s athletic history.

“Really, it’s a blessing and an honor to even be recognized as a hall of famer,” he said. “To be going in along with the other great athletes in this class ... I’m still taking it all in.”

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