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Penn State Football All 105

Penn State All 105: Nicholas Singleton has Chace to Firmly Establish Himself Among America’s Best

Nick Singleton during pregame warmups.

Penn State running back Nicholas Singleton has shown that he can be one of the best running backs in the country.

As a freshman, he rushed for more than 1,000 yards and had one of the most electrifying runs in Penn State history against Utah in the Rose Bowl.

The next season didn’t go as smoothly.

Now, Singleton is an upperclassman with a new offensive coordinator that is known for using running backs well. So what will Year 3 bring?

Singleton is the subject in the latest edition of All 105, a Nittany Sports Now series profiling each Penn State football player.

Height: 6-feet

Weight: 226 pounds

Hometown: Shillington, Pennsylvania

Before Penn State: Nicholas Singleton came to Penn State with more anticipation than any 2022 signee with the possible exception of quarterback Drew Allar.

Singleton’s performance at Governor Mifflin High School in 2021 (2,059 yards and 44 touchdowns rushing) was good enough for him to earn both regional and national accolades. He won the 2021 Gatorade National Player of the Year, Mr. PA Football and was selected to participate in the US Army All-American Bowl.

Singleton was rated the No. 1 running back in the 2022 class by 247Sports’ composite rankings. He chose Penn State over Alabama, Notre Dame, Texas A&M and Wisconsin.

2022: Singleton electrified as a true freshman, ending the season with 1,061 yards, 12 touchdowns and a 6.8 yards per carry average. The signature play of Singleton’s first season was this 87-yard touchdown run in the Rose Bowl, the third-longest in the history of the great game.

Last year: For one reason or another, Singleton’s production dipped. He ended 2023 with 409 fewer yards, for fewer touchdowns and 2.4 fewer yards per carry despite running the ball 15 more times. Singleton did put up better numbers in the receiving game, with 26 receptions (up from 11 the year before), 308 yards (up from 85) and 11.8 yards per catch (up from 7.7. But running the ball is what Singleton’s known for, and many Penn State pundits and fans alike didn’t feel he did that well enough in 2023.

Where he stands: A lot of Singleton’s success could depend on new offensive coordinator Andy Kotelnicki. It should excite Penn State fans that Kotelnicki has had great success with running backs.

Last season at Kansas, Devin Neal exploded in Kotelnicki’s scheme, going for 1,280 yards, 16 touchdowns and averaging 6.3 yards per carry.

There’s no reason to think Singleton can’t match those numbers, if not eclipse them.

A quote by Singleton: ”Just being patient in the backfield and when I see a hole, just run through it. I’m not trying to overthink stuff, just trust my instincts.” — Nicholas Singleton to reporters via Zoom last month on his approach.

A quote about Singleton: ”There’s a lot more to playing well than just the runs and just the stats,” Franklin said.

“I think when we go back and grade Nick’s tape this year and compare it to last year, I think he’s going to grade out as well, if not better, in being a well-rounded football player. So what I mean by that is if you look at him blocking for Kaytron Allen on the goal line touchdown (against Rutgers), he blocked his guy five yards into the end zone. I think that’s a distinct improvement from where he was last year. If you look at his ability to catch the ball, run routes, and be a legitimate factor in the passing game, I think he’s dramatically improved in that area of his game.”

More All 105s

QB Beau Pribula 

WR Tyler Johnson

CB Zion Tracy

WR Kaden Saunders

WR Trey Wallace 

S Zakee Wheatley

CB Cam Miller

WR Omari Evans

CB A.J. Harris

CB Jalen Kimber

WR Julian Fleming 

S KJ Winston

WR Liam Clifford

S Jaylen Reed 

LB Dom DeLuca

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