JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Jaheim Singletary has no shortage of highlights to pick from in his career.
There was his breakout freshman season at Riverside High.
There were four playoff seasons with the Generals.
The five-star recruiting accolades.
The All-News4JAX defensive player of the year picked off four passes and hauled in four touchdown catches as a senior, earned first-team All-American honors from MaxPreps and was selected for the Under Armour All-American bowl.
But the proudest moment of Singletary’s career didn’t come on the football field.
It came sitting next to his mother, Joyce Anderson, as he signed his national letter of intent to Georgia during the early signing period last month.
Anderson signed alongside Singletary, lifted the pen in the air, dropped it and did her own celebration.
One mission, accomplished.
“Special moment because my mom’s a single parent. So, like coming up I just knew that’s all she wanted was for one of her kids to make her proud, be that guy … and I’m just glad I could do that,” he said.
“Go off to college and just do that for my mom. Just made me so happy, for real. Because I love that lady, I love that lady with everything in me. Just seeing her doing that and the way that made her feel, it just made me just more, even happier. Just another step away from the goal.”
For Singletary, that moment encapsulated a lifetime of hard work for both he and his mother. He put in the work on the field, while Anderson put in the work off of it to provide for Singletary and his two older siblings. That work ethic and sacrifice is something that he appreciated at that moment more than any other.
“From when we didn’t have a car, still getting on the bus just to go try to get to work, just a lot, she sacrificed a lot, to show the support to us and the kids that she’s going to be there every step of the way,” Singletary said.
The 6-2, 180-pound cornerback didn’t hesitate when saying just how valuable family was to him. Singletary, the youngest of three children, wanted to play at Riverside because of his brother, Amari Fedd, who held down a cornerback position with the Generals in 2016-17. It was that family bond that kept him here even when the tug of a program like IMG Academy popped up after a dominant freshman season.
“Being at Lee [Riverside] is like a family. It’s a culture. Once you get here and build a legacy, it’s like everybody latches on to you, everything is a family,” Singletary said. “So, it really wasn’t no point of me leaving. Only thing IMG was going to do was probably like change my atmosphere and I’m doing that in college. Just staying here I felt like was the best choice for me and I made the right decision.”
Singletary had seven interceptions that year — half of his high school total — and said that was the most fun he’s had playing football because it was nonstop action. Teams didn’t know Singletary back then and he reaped the benefits of quarterbacks putting passes in his direction.
That didn’t happen nearly as often after that.
Singletary erased one side of the field and locked down top receivers weekly. The Generals incorporated him more into the offense this season and he snagged four touchdown passes.
But there’s still no doubt about what moment remains the most poignant and special for him — Dec. 15, 2021.
“That’s why I was just so happy at the moment because I know everything we’ve been through and what she did to for us to get here,” Singletary said. “So that moment there just … put a big smile on my face.”
All-News4JAX football team
Pos., Player, School, Year
DL Orlando Holland, Baker County, Jr.
Why he’s here: One of the leaders of the Wildcats’ relentless defense. Had 74 tackles, fumble recovery and an area-high 27 sacks. Had eight sacks in Baker County’s regional final win over Wakulla.
DL DeAnte McCray, Sandalwood, Sr.
Why he’s here: Team-high 72 tackles, 12 sacks and 13 tackles for loss for Saints. Signed with Navy.
DL Hayden Schwartz, Bolles, Sr.
Why he’s here: Disruptor at the line of scrimmage. Fourth on the team with 57 tackles. Had 20 tackles for loss and 8 sacks. Minnesota signee.
DL Masiah Wells, Riverside, Sr.
Why he’s here: Anchor on a tough Generals line, he had 61 tackles, 27 for loss and 9 sacks on a fast-paced, physical defense.
LB Ben Bogle, Nease, Sr.
Why he’s here: Racked up a state-leading 202 tackles, 33 for loss and 19 sacks in a breakout season as the leader of a massively improved defense.
LB Grayson Howard, Jackson, Jr.
Why he’s here: Versatile player was all over the field. Team-best 157 tackles and 14 for loss. Added 3.5 sacks, 2 INTs, forced and recovered a fumble.
LB Caden Morrell, Trinity Christian, Sr.
Why he’s here: Led the state champion Conquerors in the main tackle categories. Had 149 tackles, 18 TFL, 11 QB hurries, 6.5 sacks. Forced 4 fumbles and recovered 3.
LB Jack Pyburn, Bolles, Sr.
Why he’s here: The Bulldogs’ defense was relentless and Pyburn was the ringleader of that unit. Team-leading 109 tackles and 32 tackles for loss. Added 16 hurries and led the team with 14 sacks.
DB Tony Carter, Mandarin, Sr.
Why he’s here: Team-leading 134 tackles. Had an interception and a pair of forced fumbles for the Mustangs.
DB Sharif Denson, Bartram Trail, Jr.
Why he’s here: Had 34 total tackles and an interception for the Bears as Bartram’s defense set the tone for the team this season. Had 3 TFL and recovered a fumble.
DB Damani Dent, Parker, Sr.
Why he’s here: One of the top players for a tough Parker defense. Led the team in tackles (63) and second on the team in INTs (4). Michigan signee.
DB Jaheim Singletary, Riverside, Sr.
Why he’s here: All-News4JAX defensive player of the year. Elite corner and Georgia signee. First-team All-American by MaxPreps. Had 28 tackles and team-high 4 INTs. Had 236 receiving yards and 4 TDs.
ATH CJ Dorsey, Parker, Jr.
Why he’s here: Versatile playmaker and did a little bit of everything. Had 35 tackles, 9 INTs, 4 sacks. Had 1,303 all-purpose yards, 5 TDs.
ATH Jamil Jones, Baker County, Sr.
Why he’s here: If teams could get it past the Wildcats’ tough defensive front, Jones was there to greet them in the secondary. Area-leading 10 interceptions. Had 39 tackles for Class 5A state semifinalist. And not only was he a vacuum in the secondary Jones was an excellent punter. Punted for a 34.5-yard average.
ATH Christian Yousefzadeh, Creekside, Sr.
Why he’s here: Second on team with 90 tackles. Led Knights with 15 tackles for loss, 10 QB pressures and 9 sacks. Also had an interception, forced fumble, a recovery and blocked a FG. Also punted for 32-yard average.
P Caleb Francis, Jackson, Sr.
Why he’s here: Area leader in punting average (46.8 yards per kick). Also a versatile player all over the field, with 81 tackles, 5 INT, 27 pass breakups. Added 319 receiving yards.
Position, Player, School, Class
LB Baylor Newsom, Bishop Kenny, Sr.
Big reason for the Crusaders’ turnaround. Team-best 123 tackles, 18 TFL, 2 forced fumbles and an INT.
LB Micah Pollard, Bartram Trail, Sr.
Had 51 tackles, 4 sacks and a pair of fumble recoveries for a very stout defensive team. Has signed with Michigan.
LB Camillo Rollins, Baker County, Sr.
Team-leading 129 tackles, 9 for loss. Added 4 sacks for Class 5A state semifinalist Wildcats.
LB Devin Smith, Riverside, Sr.
Had 55 tackles, 10 for loss, 3 forced fumbled, one fumble recovery and an interception.
DL Ian Calhoun, Creekside, Sr.
Had 41 tackles, 8 TFL and a pair of sacks for the Knights. Added 5 hits on the quarterback during one of the best seasons in Creekside history. Lafayette commit.
DL Jordan Hall, Westside, Jr.
Several coaches commented on how disruptive he was at the line of scrimmage. Had 34 tackles, 5 sacks, forced and recovered a fumble.
DL Aaron Hester, Fletcher, Sr.
Had 46 tackles, team-leading 14 for loss and 5 sacks for a very good defensive unit. Signed with Florida State.
DL Bradley Mann, Bolles, Sr.
Had 51 tackles, 15 for loss, 13 QB hurries and 7 sacks for one of the area’s best defenses. Has signed with Vanderbilt.
DB/LB Rashaad Hall, Raines, Sr.
Team-leading 83 tackles for Vikings. Added 3 sacks, recovered a fumble
DB Ronnie Ellis, Baker County, Sr.
Another monster in the defensive backfield for the Wildcats. Had 63 tackles, 5 INTs. Took one of those picks back for a TD.
DB Amare Ferrell, Columbia, Jr.
Leader in the secondary of a tough Tigers defense.
DB Kyree Hammond, Raines, Sr.
Second on the Vikings in tackles (74). Added 2 INTs for 8-3 Raines.
DB Keaton Thomas, Trinity Christian, Sr.
Converted receiver had 60 tackles and team-leading 7 INTs for state champion Conquerors. Also had a TD catch.
ATH Jhace Edwards, Fleming Island, Jr.
The LB/RB did everything for the Golden Eagles. Had 24 carries, 105 yards and 7 TDs. Had 67 tackles, 9.5 for loss and 6.5 sacks.
ATH Fred Gaines, Jackson, Jr.
Do-it-all player for the Tigers. Had 1,769 all-purpose yards, 12 total TDs. Also 2 INTs.
P Drew Ammon, Oakleaf, Jr.
Two-way player was a solid QB (1,736 passing yards, 17 TDs) and a very good punter (40 yards per punt average)
DE/LB Camden Hardy, So.; DB Jaheim Odom, Sr.; DB Rontavion Scott, Sr.
LB Bryce Kazmierczak, So.; LB Toby Kinghorn, Sr.;
LB Malcolm Harvin, Sr.; LB Cortez Martinez, Jr.
LB Dylan Chiedo, Sr.; DL Segree Graham, Sr.
DB Spencer Surface, Jr.
DL Torin Brazell, So.; DL Chason Clark, So.; WR/DB Chalil Cummings, So.
DB Jarvis Lee, Jr.; DB Jonathan Rouw, Sr.
DE Adeon Farmer, Sr.; LB Bobby Miller, Sr.; S Jaden Robinson, Jr.; ATH Tray Tolliver, Jr.
DE Vincent Approbato, Sr.; DB Carter McEachean, Sr.; LB Ian Mooney, Sr.
DB Julio Valcarcel, Jr.
LB Elijah Franklin, Sr.
DB Derrick Hartley, Sr.
Flagler Palm Coast
LB Jason Browning, Sr.; DB Elyjah Gilyard, So.; LB Rodney Hill, So.
DB Dedric Walker, Sr.; LB Walker Whiddon, Jr.; LB Abram Wright, Jr.
LB Eli Durden, Jr.; LB Jaylen Harris, Sr.; LB Maximus Pasko, Sr.; DB Merritt Reynolds, Sr.
DL Richard Garrett, Sr.; OL/DL Jeremiah Lovely, Jr.
LB Clayton Kicklighter, Sr.; OL/DL/TE Caleb Moncrief, Sr.; RB/LB Logan Williams, Sr.
DL Daron Dukes, Sr.; LB Carmelo Murphy, Jr.
DB Julian Quintero, So.; DL Seth Stamps, Sr.
DB Jace Campbell, Sr.; LB Austin Cruce, So.; P/WR Caleb Freytag, Sr; DL Donovan Wimberly, Sr.
P Evan Crenshaw, Sr.; LB Zach Harmon, Sr.; DB Creed McClafferty, Sr.; LB/WR Donovan Wilson, Sr.
RB Devin Outlaw, Jr.; TE/RB Isaiah Shevchook, Jr.
DB Chivaris Dumas, Jr.
LB Luke Pirris, Sr.; LB Trooper Price, Jr.
DB Kenton Kirkland, Jr.; DB Travis Laster, Sr.; ATH Reshawn Latimer, Sr.; LB Jamari Whitehead, Jr.
DL Zavotray Brown, Sr.; LB/DL Carmello Cooper, Sr.; LB Breon Jordan, Sr.
DL Derrick Mosley, Sr.
LB Bryce Capers, Sr.; DB Joseph Morrison, Sr.; DL De’Avery Weeks, Jr.
RB/DB Tyshawn Campbell, Sr.; S Ja’ki Singleton, So.
LB Anthony Brackenridge, Sr.; K/P Christian Schultz, Sr.
LB Andrew Brown, Sr.
LB Cameron Anderson, So.; DL Deon Briggs, Sr.; LB Thomas Fryer, So.; LB Johnathan Goddard Jr., Sr.; DB Cam Miller, Sr.
ATH Daylyn Diston, Jr.; LB Trevor Holtzendorf, Sr.; DL Dayviontae Thompson, Jr.; DL Curran Webb, Sr.; OL/DL Mikah Wilson, Jr.
DL Kaydrick Robinson, Jr.; LB Luke Thomas, So.
DB/WR AJ Miller, Sr.; RB/LB Conner Nobles, Sr.; LB Brooks Miller, Sr.; DE Michael Thorn, Sr.; DB Leon Whitley, Jr.
ATH Davaughn Patterson, Jr.
DB Landon Hale, Jr.; LB Josiah Rauls, Sr.; LB Tayjon Thomas, Sr.