Singleton at the 'Y'

Singleton at the 'Y'

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – Kendrick Singleton’s utility has been a defining aspect of his football career, beginning in high school and continuing into his third season at North Carolina as he’s transitioned to the hybrid tight end position.

At Baker County High School in Glen Saint Mary, Fla., Singleton would play linebacker against teams that pounded the ball on the ground and cornerback or safety against teams with big wide receivers. Offensively, he took snaps at all of the skill positions.

That trend followed him to Chapel Hill.

“I’ve changed positions every year,” Singleton said on Tuesday. “My freshman year I was an outside guy. My sophomore year I was at the A-back, in the backfield, cross cutting and blocking. Now I’m the bigger receiver, which is our ‘Y’ hybrid, tight-end-type receiver.

“It’s been great so far. I’m making different plays and I think I can help my team in any way that they need me to help them. Hybrid is a pretty interesting spot. You get to block bigger guys and you learn more.”

With Eric Ebron’s early entry into the NFL Draft, along with the off-the-field troubles of highly touted signee Avery Edwards, UNC’s body count at tight end was limited to seniors Jack Tabb and Eric Albright and true freshman Brandon Fitts before Singleton’s move.

Singleton (6 catches, 66 yards, TD in ‘13) said he’s added 15-20 pounds this offseason, bulking up to 218 pounds on his 6-foot-2 frame.

“This summer, when I started gaining weight, I was still running with the skill [positions], so I maintained my speed,” Singleton said. “I could still run and make cuts and do different things.”

Singleton was already known for his freakish weight room antics before packing on the pounds this offseason. His size and strength have allowed him to excel in UNC’s blocking concepts and were a significant factor in his starting role at the A-back last fall.

Blocking is a critical component for any tight end in any offensive scheme, but in Larry Fedora’s spread, the ‘Y’ is responsible for the key block in setting up the zone read. He works in conjunction with the playside tackle to account for the ‘C’ gap linebacker.

Singleton, who is currently working with the twos behind Tabb, expects to split his time attached and detached from the tackle depending on the opponent’s defensive scheme.

Tabb’s experience has proven beneficial in helping Singleton fine-tune his technique. The Macclenny, Fla. native indicated that his biggest challenge has been his footwork, specifically his first and second steps off the snap.

Singleton’s own experience at three different receiver positions, however, has made him a knowledgeable veteran for the underclassmen.

“I can see the whole picture,” Singleton said. “I know the whole offense now. I know what he does and he does and if you don’t know, as me. You’ve got this route; you’ve got that route. I just see the whole picture.”

That type of vision comes standard with immense versatility, which has served Singleton well in earning playing time. Recommended Stories

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