If your favorite NFL team is looking for a running back in the 2019 NFL draft, then FAU’s Devin Singletary should have your attention. Some of the biggest difference-makers at the next level at the running back position have been drafted in the later rounds, and Singletary is going to be a steal if he lasts that long.
Singletary has totaled an astonishing 67 touchdowns in just three seasons at FAU. We can’t think of many NFL teams that wouldn’t benefit from adding that sort of production to their backfield.
Singletary recently spoke exclusively with MCM about how he developed a nose for finding the end zone, which running backs he enjoyed watching growing up, and how he earned the nickname “motor” at a young age.
JM: How would you describe your skill set?
DS: I’m a versatile running back. I feel like I can do it all. I bring a little bit of everything to the table. I can catch the ball out of the backfield as well. I’m a good blocker at this stage of my career. I can still get better though. I make people miss when I run the ball. I feel like I can do it all. That’s what being a versatile back means to me. I embody that.
JM: How and when did you earn the nickname “motor?”
DS: That was passed down from my father. As soon as I started playing football, I was taking guys on one-on-one. That just came naturally to me. I wanted that challenge. I was just four or five years old. People have been calling me “motor” ever since.
The race is on. Devin Singletary currently holds a 94-to-74 advantage in missed tackles forced on runs this season, over David Montgomery, who has 2 games left.— PFF College (@PFF_College) November 29, 2018
Who forces missed tackles at a higher rate per carry, we've got you covered⬇️ ⬇️ https://t.co/Pdticqg0KA pic.twitter.com/UEcBD2jpUg
JM: You scored 32 touchdowns on the ground last season, and another 22 this year as well. That’s pretty much unheard of. What is it about your game that allows you to find the end zone so often?
DS: Honestly, I’ve just been blessed with a nose for finding the end zone. I think that’s the best way for me to put it. I’ve always just had a nose for getting in the end zone. I can’t really think of how else to put it.
JM: I’m curious as to which running backs you admired growing up? Did you model your game after any of them in particular?
DS: I wouldn’t say I model my game after anyone in particular. I like to watch a variety of running backs. If I were to name a few, I’d have to go with LeSean McCoy, Frank Gore, Marshawn Lynch and Adrian Peterson. The list goes on and on though. I enjoy watching those four guys play the game. I try to take something from every single one of them and implement it into my game.
JM: Can you believe Frank Gore is still going the way that he is?
DS: That’s crazy to me. As a running back, that’s incredibly rare. He’s incredibly rare. What he’s doing is special. For how long he’s been doing it for is downright special man. I’ve never seen anything like him to be honest. Not at the running back position at least. I admire that. I hope I can do it one day too (laughs).
JM: Many consider your head coach Lane Kiffin to be a brilliant offensive mind. What have you learned under his watch and how has your game improved since he’s taken over at FAU?
DS: I’ve definitely learned a lot from him. He’s done extremely well when it comes to calling plays. The guy who’s improved my game the most though is [running backs] coach Kevin Smith. He helped me take my game to the next level. He always makes sure I’m very detail oriented about every little thing. He’s the who helped me elevate my game the most since I’ve been at FAU.
JM: What’s more satisfying, taking a 75-yard run to the house, or carrying the ball 6+ times on a long drive?
DS: I guess it just depends on how I’m feeling that day. I’ll take either one of those scenarios. They both sound good to me (laughs).
JM: Who’s the best collegiate player you’ve ever gone up against?
DS: Hmm I don’t know that I can call anyone the best per say. The pass rusher at Old Dominion is pretty good. Oshane Ximines. He was always tough to play against. He‘s a very good player on their defensive line. Playing against him has always been a lot of fun because he’s a tough guy.
JM: Is there an NFL defender you’d like to juke or stiff arm one day?
DS: I can’t say that, nah (laughs). We’ll see when that time gets here. I’m just looking forward to hopefully getting an opportunity to compete at that level.
JM: You were born in Deerfield Beach, Florida. What did it mean to have the opportunity to stay close to home and represent FAU?
DS: It means a lot to me. I’m just representing for the guys down south. We take football very seriously out here. It’s been great to be apart of this program and to have accomplished everything I’ve done so far here at home makes it all the more special.
JM: What are some hobbies you enjoy outside of football?
DS: Outside of football? I like going fishing. I play some games here and there. Other than that, I’m really just chilling.
JM: Where did you pick up fishing from?
DS: That’s just something we always did as a family. My uncles and my older cousins used to take me out there and it was very relaxing. It just feels great to be out there. It’s very peaceful.
JM: Thanks a lot for your time today, Devin. What can fans expect from you going forward?
DS: I’m just gonna keep on working hard. I’m the same guy I’ve always been. I’ll remain humble and I’ll continue to work at my craft. That’s pretty much it.