READING, Pa. -- Ohio State's running back search in the 2022 class has emerged with a couple of prime candidates, one of which is Shillington (Pa.) Governor Mifflin star Nicholas Singleton.
Singleton was impressive once again on Friday night in a 49-0 win over Muhlenberg. The four-star prospect was dropped for a loss on his first carry of the game and then was not tackled the rest of the evening. Singleton found the end zone on his remaining four touches, scoring three times on the ground and also returning a punt. The game was out of reach by the middle of the second quarter.
"It was a great game for me and my teammates," Singleton said after the game. "My offensive line did a great job."
Singleton entered his junior season with some lofty goals. Some of those individual goals won't be possible with the condensed schedule, but the biggest ones are still right there for the taking, a district championship and ultimately a state championship.
"We're first in our district and there's only four teams that can make it," Singleton explained. "So the first playoff game is actually the district semi-final."
On the recruiting front, Singleton has been a top target at running back for the Buckeyes for a long time now. Head coach Ryan Day stopped by the school back in the winter and since that point both Day and running backs coach Tony Alford have made Singleton feel like a priority.
"It's been coach Alford and coach Day mostly that are talking to me," Singleton stated. "My relationship with the coaches (is his favorite thing about Ohio State), I just really have a strong relationship with them."
Alford and Singleton have been talking regularly for a long time now, the contact window opening up on September 1st has made that communication process even easier.
"He's a real nice coach, he's a funny coach," Singleton said of Alford. "The running backs he produces, and he always checks up on me."
Singleton had previously visited Ohio State last summer, but as it turns out, he was actually on campus very recently.
"We actually went up there last weekend," Singleton revealed. "We saw the stadium, the campus, it was all very nice. We saw some of the restaurants, where the dorms are and everything."
Singleton made a similar visit to Penn State three weeks ago. Those two programs seem to be at the forefront of his recruitment at this point, but there are others involved as well.
"It's really Wisconsin, Ohio State, Penn State, Notre Dame, North Carolina, and South Carolina," he said. "(The extended Dead Period) has definitely slowed things down a little bit for me but I'll probably cut my list after the season."
Growing up in Penn State country, the Nittany Lions won't be an easy out here. Singleton likes what Penn State has done on the field recently, especially at his position.
"They just tell me to stay home," he said. "All of the running backs they've produced recently like (Saquon) Barkley, (Miles) Sanders, and (Journey) Brown, they're from PA so that has really been their message to me."
Singleton's decision will ultimately come down to that very thing. Stay at home, or branch out at a new place. Either way, he will have the blessing from those he cares about the most.
"Making a decision is going to be hard," he said. "But if I go out-of-state, my parents aren't going to mind and if I stay in-state they won't mind that either."
"I'm just looking for great coaches and teammates, a good football team, and good academics," he added.
Singleton holds nearly 30 scholarship offers already and is a consensus Top 10 running back in the 2022 class.