During a recent workout where college coaches came out to watch North Cobb quarterback Malachi Singleton, they left campus without seeing something.
It wasn’t that they didn’t see him run, it wasn’t that they weren’t impressed with his football IQ. What they didn’t see was something from the passing game.
“During his workout the ball didn’t hit the ground for 18 minutes,” Warriors’ coach Shane Queen said.
Singleton made every throw on the progression tree — short, medium and long — and he did not have a single incompletion. It was another step in proving to potential scouts the 6-foot-1, 220-pound junior wasn’t just a run-first quarterback.
“He completed 74% of his passes this season,” Queen said. “And that’s hard to do against air. Every time he takes the field he gives us a chance to win.”
Singleton completed 168 of 225 passes for 2,348 yards with 24 touchdowns against only three interceptions. However when he needed to, he still showed how dangerous a runner he could be. Singleton carried the ball 160 times for 1,037 yards and 25 touchdowns. He did it all in helping North Cobb win back-to-back region titles for the first time in program history. For his efforts, Singleton is the 2021 Cobb County Offensive Player of the Year, as voted on by the coaches.
“I appreciate it so much,” Singleton said. “It was a goal of mine to strive to be the (offensive) player of the year. It means a lot.”
For Singleton, 2021 was a season to truly show off his all-around game. Early in the season, when the Warriors faced then No. 1 Milton on national TV, Singleton ran for more than 200 yards and five touchdowns. Against North Gwinnett, he completed 19-of-21 passes for 340 yards and three touchdowns.
“He has the whole game,” North Cobb linebacker Josh Josephs said. “This man right here is a game changer. He can do it with his legs, and then throw some bombs.”
When Singleton needed to show he could do both in the same game, he did that, too. Against Marietta, in what proved to be the Region 3AAAAAAA championship game, Singleton completed 18 of 20 passes for 242 yards and three touchdowns. He also rushed for 123 yards on 22 carries with two more scores.
“There isn’t anything that surprises me because of how hard he works,” Queen said. “I think he’s the best dual-threat quarterback in the country, and to do it against the caliber of teams we see in Class AAAAAAA is really something special.”
Doing something special has become routine to the point that Queen said he has lost count of the “Wow” moments he has seen during Singleton’s two years as the starter.
“He has several plays like that a game,” Queen said. “He is one of those generational talents. (Former Harrison High School standout and current Chicago Bears quarterback) Justin Fields. That’s as close as it gets (for comparison).”
With all the big-time plays he made this year, Singleton did say there was one that stood out over all the others. Against Harrison, he was nearly sacked, and then he wasn’t.
“I was getting sacked and I landed on top of a defender but wasn’t down,” he said. “I bounced back up and threw a touchdown pass.”
Currently, Singleton is considered a four-star recruit with 10 Division I offers including Georgia, Georgia Tech, Arkansas, Central Florida, Louisville, Miami, NC State, Virginia Tech, West Virginia, and most recently Cincinnati.
When he talks to the college scouts, there isn’t a whole lot of advice they can give right now. The most repeated suggestion is simple.
“They tell me to ‘Keep doing what I’m doing,” Singleton said.