"We are not leaving Ole Miss without a championship," Singleton said. "This is the best class to ever come out of Mississippi, and we all stuck together to win one for our state. My freshman season is dedicated to my team and to help the team get to a BCS championship."
Oh how ironic.
This quote was attributed to Tobias Singleton little more than one year ago on our friendly Ole Miss blog. Needless to say, Tobias' freshman season "dedication" did not reap any championships (not even a Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl Championship!). In fact, Tobias now joins Snoop Brassell as two high-profile recruits from the 2011 class to prematurely exit the program.
Sure there were warning signs, like the receipt of domestic violence charges* before the earning of a high school diploma......but really, Tobias is just one more name to add to a growing list of former Rebels who seemingly reached the apex of their lives by simply becoming a member of the Ole Miss football team. One needn't Google Ole Miss' win-loss record from the last few seasons to realize how inconsequential such an accomplishment is.
Our team is desperate for talented athletes, no question about it. But more than that, we need a coaching staff that can identify talent, recruit it to campus, and then motivate it once it is here. Clearly under the prior regime some of the steps in this process were missing.
Instead of leading the Rebs to SEC and BCS championship after championship, Tobias joins a litany of former recruits who brought nothing but disappointment. So, instead of joining the ranks of the Chris Collins, Bill Flowers, and Mike Wallaces of our world, Tobias becomes just another Tig Barksdale or Chris Strong or Pat Patterson.
Dwelling on all the "blue chip" talent that has come and gone at Ole Miss without passing beyond the tip of the iceberg with regard to their respective talent is depressing and counterproductive. Instead, let's appreciate the fact that an unheralded-last-minute recruit (Cody Core) unquestionably has outperformed a blue-chipper (Singleton) and established himself in the WR rotation. Hell, Collins Moore was a much more lightly-regarded recruit and, in retrospect, maybe we'd have been better off holding onto T.J. Worthy.
The rise of a Cody Core (and corresponding fall of Tobias Singleton) simply highlights the importance of recruiting and motivating individuals who are willing and hungry to work once they arrive on campus. We don't need players who believe earning a D1 scholarship to a BCS school is the top of the mountain. Hopefully our new staff will be more adept at motivating and retaining talent than what we've seen in the recent past.
*Which were eventually dropped or reduced or something when it was discovered that Tobias does not, in fact, have the human strength capable of kicking, literally kicking, a bumper off of a Pontiac, which he was alleged to have done.