Running with the Bull

Inside Carolina
Posted Aug 16, 2013


CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- A bull has many connotations depending on the context but the nickname given to Kendrick Singleton epitomizes the positive attributes associated with that characterization.

The wide receiver from Macclenny, Fla. recalled the moment he earned his catchy name from Gunter Brewer, his position coach at UNC.

“On film, I hit somebody hard freshman year and he was like, ‘I like that Bull,’” Singleton said. “I said, ‘Bull? Coach, have you ever seen a bull hit a chicken?’ That’s where that comes from, and he said, ‘I’m going to start calling you Bull.’

The name fits for a player who constantly is labeled as one of the hardest working individuals on the Tar Heel roster. This isn’t a trend that sprung up recently as Singleton worked hard in high school to reach the level where he’s at today. As a kid, Singleton admitted he wasn’t a standout athlete, instead having to utilize his work ethic to succeed.

That desire fuels him daily and helped produce unreal athletic feats during his high school career. Singleton played three sports in high school and was the Florida state champion power lifter in his class. On the football field, Singleton could be found playing just about any position and was willing to play a variety of positions to help his high school, Baker County, earn a victory.

“Some weeks we’d play big running back teams and I’d play linebacker,” Singleton said. “The next week we’d play big receivers and I’d play corner. The next week I’d play safety. At quarterback, nobody could tackle me in high school, so why not do that?”

Singleton points to two influential figures in his life that led to his innate hard-working mentality.

“My mom was the one who always pushed me to go after what I wanted and do the things I needed to do,” he said. “In high school, I had a coach my freshman and sophomore years named Bobby Johns. He just worked us. We used to have weight lifting classes and then after school we’d work out for four hours. I kind of got a work ethic from playing sports.”

This summer set up perfectly for Singleton as he focused on doing whatever strength and conditioning coach Lou Hernandez demanded.

“We were doing a whole bunch of power cleans from the floor,” Singleton said. “I got my technique down and just started working to get better and better. Then we’d come out on the field and we’d run sprints. When you do something all the time you get good at it. I just got better with my awareness and my feet.”

Although power cleans are one of Singleton’s strengths, he also improved drastically in a department that he categorized as his main weakness - footwork.

“We did agility drills and all kinds of drills to work on my feet,” Singleton said. “Coach Lou really helped me personally with my feet and my technique in the weight room. We worked on important muscle groups that help make you more explosive and more powerful. I had a great offseason. I’m ten times faster. I can make somebody miss and I can get up field.”

Pundits mainly tap Singleton as a potential starter at the A-back position in Blake Anderson’s offense yet the sophomore doesn’t have a preference or an inkling as to where he’ll definitively line up on the field.

“It doesn’t matter,” he said. “It’s three receivers, one’s got the cross, one’s got the flat and one has the streak. If you learn the concepts you can play at any position. I could do it all. Wherever my team needs me to be, whether it’s inside blocking or outside making plays.”

Singleton has gone from an unknown commodity with little recruiting hype to Coach Brewer’s Bull in the receiver group. Now he's looking to transfer his efforts from the practice field to real live action for the Tar Heels.

It’s quite a change from the summer of 2011 when Singleton owned only one offer and was committed to Larry Fedora’s Southern Miss Golden Eagles. Singleton moved when the staff he committed to headed to Chapel Hill and remains committed moving forward.

“They’ve always been loyal to me and I’ll always be loyal to them,” Singleton said. “We all had a great relationship and would write each other. It’s all love so I committed right away and I’ve been committed forever. They moved to UNC but my ultimate goal was to stay with Coach Fedora because he’s a great guy. He cares about us like we’re his children. I felt like he could get me to the next level and he could help me be better than I am now.”

 


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