Worth A Pick: Matt Singletary, DE/OLB, Cal Poly

The last name Singletary is a common household name because everyone remembers the play of the great Chicago Bear linebacker, Mike Singletary. Mike was one of the best inside linebackers ever to play the game and is best remembered for his hard hits, and his record setting 2 fumble recoveries when the Chicago Bears beat the New England Patriots in Super Bowl 20. Mike is not just a coach or a player, but a caring loving father of seven. Mike’s son Matt is trying to help keep the name alive.

Matt Singletary signed his letter of intent to play for Baylor University where his father was a legend at the school. In his senior year with San Jose Valley Christian High School, Matt finished with 64 tackles, 4 sacks and two fumble recoveries.Matt was excited to start his college career with a team where his father set records as a linebacker.After redshirting in 2007, Matt was ready to make an impact on the football field. In 2008 his true freshman year, he played in one game as a Tight End but did not make a reception.

In 2009, Matt would finally get to see the field as a defensive end where he was up to 250 pounds and stood just over 6'3. Matt played in 3 games and was able to rack up a few tackles and a sack for the Bears defense.Matt had a major decision to make when his father was given the head coaching job for the San Francisco 49ers. Matt decided to be closer with his family in California.He chose to transfer schools and attend Cal Poly where he would make an immediate impact at the DE/OLB position.

When Matt transferred to Cal Poly he had two years remaining of eligibility. In 2010 his redshirt junior year, Matt started in all 11 games and finished the season with 16 tackles. In 2011 Matt had a good senior year as well, in a rotational role for Cal Poly. Matt was able to get an invited to the NFLPA Bowl in California where he had a good game and was praised by coach Tom Flores, who said he had a great motor after the game. Matt is preparing for his Pro Day and the Florida Bowl which will be played on March 24th, 2012 at Raymond James Stadium. Matt has been really busy but was able to take a little time out to answer some questions for the Mocking the Draft supporters.

What was your most memorable moment playing for Valley Christian High School?

I would have to say the division championship game versus Palma. I was new to the school and was in my first year we and we won my first ever championship. I was finally able to experience what that felt like, and I loved it. From then on out, I wanted to win a Championship in everything I did.

How many teams were recruiting you coming out of Valley Christian High?

Baylor was the first team to talk with me. There were a couple others that said they could see me playing another position such as Outside Linebacker. I really didn’t talk with anyone else because I fell in love with Baylor, it was a beautiful place. I committed after my junior year, and I knew I made a great decision.

Why did you ultimately choose Baylor?

I met a great group of guys there, and I felt that they were great people. The coaching staff was a great but they didn’t last long, they were all fired the next year. Waco might not be the most amazing place in the world to some, but it was big enough and had everything you need and more. I really enjoyed it there.

You transferred to Cal Poly for you junior season, why did you make that decision?

I feel like it was more of a mental decision than football. I don’t think I was as mature as I needed to be. I wasn’t doing the things I should have been doing, I wasn’t getting in trouble but, I was acting if school was a hangout and not a place to learn. I feel my dad sent me off to be a man, and I felt like I was still being a child. I knew that it was necessary to move on to another school.

What was your most memorable moment in college?

My most memorable moment came when I broke my hand my senior year at Cal Poly. I wanted to play but wasn’t sure the coaching staff would let me play. I prayed to God that I could play with my hand, but kept hearing that the break was bad and that I could apply for a medical clearance.I really wasn’t trying to sit out the entire year, so I began to pray. I went back to the doctor; and after a second look, he said it was a cleanest break he had ever seen. He said if I wanted to, I could return and play with a club. So by far, my most memorable moment was to see God’s work first hand.

If I was a GM of an NFL team, what would you tell me you can bring to my team?

I would say, I might not have the best stats in college, but I am willing to learn the playbook and do my best. I’m going to give it my all, whether it’s in the weight room, film room, or in playing situations I will do my best. I feel that I will succeed if just given a chance.

What is the most traumatic thing you have ever experienced, and how did you overcome it?

The worst thing that ever happened to me had to be when I was bouncing around from position to position. I felt my best wasn’t good enough. I was trying to handle all my problems myself. It was so internalized; I was so messed up mentally. I was trying my best and I felt like I was giving my all but I kept falling short. I was so stressed out I was ready to quit. I had a long talk with my father, and he told me that I was making a bad decision. I feel that I learned I had to be a man.I realized I didn’t have to do deal with everything on my own, and that I had a great supporting cast around me.

How do you break down film, where do you start, and what do you look for?

I have had the ability to sit down and learn how to break film with my father. That is a great feeling, because he knows what he is talking about. I learned everything from him.When breaking down film for myself, I focus on the Tight End. I watch how he gets off the line, his stance, and where his feet are aligned. I watch to see if he gets off the line quickly, if he moves differently on run plays than pass plays. I watch his techniques, such as his scoop blocking. Then I watch the Defensive end he is facing. I evaluate what works, what he could have done to beat him. Then I try to implement it. You have to watch the tackles as well. Is the center of the tackle vertical or horizontal? If he is vertical low, I am going speed to power. If he is vertical high, I can club, and spin on him. I am always watching to see what moves I can beat him with.Is he a deep setter, is he a short puncher? Those are questions, I ask myself when breaking down film. After I evaluate the Tight Ends and Tackles I watch formations. How many times they run out of a formation or pass, vice versa.

Where have you been told you are projected to be drafted?

Honestly, I have heard anywhere from fifth through seventh round all the way to Free Agent. I am just preparing myself to get on a roster and stick.

What was the experience like at the NFLPA Bowl Game?

It was great, I was able to work with Phillip Daniels. I am not sure if he is a coach, but I think he would be a great one. He taught me a lot on the defensive line. I was under Tom Flores as well. He was a great coach, very knowledgeable. There were a ton of guys getting ready and grinding the same way you are.Everyone is hungry just like you.

Coach Flores had great things to say about you at the NFLPA game, how well do you feel you performed?

I always feel that I performed well, but I noticed a few things that I could have done better. I found out things that I needed to work on after watching film. I feel like it was a great starting point and I now I know what I need to work on.

Growing up, who was your favorite NFL team?

That is the hardest question you have asked. I was a Ravens fan, when I was older. When I was a younger kid, I was a Chicago Bears fan, because of the environment.

Who was your favorite NFL player?

Ray Lewis, he is so tenacious and physical.To me he is one of the best teachers I have ever watched. Everyone talks about his hard hits, but what about his leadership? The guys is a great teacher and leader, he leads by example.

What NFL teams have you talked with you so far?

I have not talked with any NFL team so far, I look forward to the opportunity to talk with them.

If you could have a meeting with one person in the world dead or alive, who would it be?

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., I always wanted to meet him and ask him how he did it. He had to be alone throughout some of his journey, probably feeling like he had to do everything on his own. He was by himself fighting for a long time, and I would like to know what caused his drive and motivation. I would like to sit down and listen why he did the things he did.

What is the first thing you are going to buy with your NFL paycheck?

I have always wanted to buy my mother a car, but my father says he will take care of my mom. If I had the funds I would still buy her a car. Since I am a weird kid, I would probably buy comics books, maybe some good video games, and a George Foreman Grill.

I would like to thank Matt for a great interview. This young man is a very good football player with a great pedigree. Will he be selected in the draft? Make sure to answer the poll question below.

Follow me on Twitter @drocksthaparty

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