Singleton’s decision made signing day fun for everyone

West Mecklenburg linebacker picks Appalachian State

by Cliff Mehrtens

Front row (from left) are mother Danielle McBryde, Singleton and sister Quamarai McBryde. Back row (from left) are West Mecklenburg head football coach Jeff Caldwell, defensive coordinator Jimmy Brookins and assistant coach Stephen Ford. (Cliff Mehrtens/MIM photos)

Tashion Singleton made every effort to make signing day not just about him.

Singleton, a West Mecklenburg High senior linebacker, was the center of attention when friends, family, coaches and school officials gathered in the school media center for a ceremony Feb. 1. But Singleton – true to his personality – was eager to share.

When he sat at a table to sign his National Letter of Intent to play football at Appalachian State next fall, he made sure family members were seated nearby before he picked up a pen.

Then he called over Hawks coaches to get into the photos.

That was followed by urging some friends to get in the picture, and hugs and handshakes all around.

“Any little bit of success he has, he wants to share,” said West Mecklenburg football coach Jeff Caldwell. “He’s a relationship guy. The hardest part for him was telling (coaches) that he was going to other schools to make visits. With all the coaches – Coastal Carolina, S.C. State, N.C. Central, Charlotte – he made connections.”

West Mecklenburg High linebacker Tashion Singleton celebrates with classmates after signing a National Letter of Intent on Feb. 1 to play football at Appalachian State.

Singleton announced his decision by placing three hats on the table in front of him – Appalachian State, N.C. Central and S.C. State. He reached for the one in the middle, with the black-and-gold “App State” stitched in.

Singleton tugged the cap on proudly, and a few moments later he and mom Danielle McBryde officially signed the forms to help move his football career to a higher level.

Caldwell smiled as he recalled making a recruiting trip with Singleton. Most players would naturally be consumed by what and where they’d be visiting that weekend. Instead, as Caldwell and Singleton were driving on Jan. 20, Singleton had a revelation. He’d glanced at the time, and realized he was missing West Mecklenburg’s big “Black-Out” rivalry basketball game against Harding that night. Fans are encouraged to dress in black as a sign of unity and support.

Instead of thinking about himself, Caldwell said, Singleton was thinking of others.

“He’s a genuine kid, a genuine person,” Caldwell said. “He never meets a stranger. He’s a self-starter, and the motor never stops. He’s got a passion and a desire to be great.”

Singleton said choosing a college was a tough decision. He was thrilled to be heading to Boone, but thankful to other programs who had recruited him.

Singleton visited Appalachian State when the Mountaineers were playing a game against Georgia Southern and made an immediate connection.

“I felt really comfortable with everyone,” he said. “They treated me like I was at home. I told my mom I was going to be in good hands. Coach (Jerry) Moore and I really connected. I thank God to be in this situation. The place is beautiful, and the community is nice. I know for a fact they’ll support me, no matter what happens. I really appreciate that. And my family plays a big part in that.”

Several of Singleton’s football teammates were at the ceremony, and Hawks athletics director John Yewcic half-kidded them about them having their own signing day soon.

Caldwell and several of his assistant coaches were flashing proud-papa smiles. Singleton was quick to hug them all.

“We’ve been fortunate to have been in his presence,” Caldwell said.

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