A little more than two decades ago at Santa Fe College in Gainesville, Florida, a chance meeting was the start of the Singleton family sports legacy.
Student-athletes from the school gathered to meet one another at the beginning of the school year, but little did anyone know Carlo Singleton, a basketball player at the college, would go on to meet his future wife, the former Margaret Whittemore, at the event.
“We met at the sports social gathering for the college. It was the beginning of the year social where all the sports teams meet each other,” Carlo said. “I met her there and we have been together ever since.”
Now, Carlo and Margaret have five kids — Christian, 21, Cobe, 19, Malachi, 17, Marcus, 12, and Courtlyn, 10 — and all kids, even including the younger two, are athletes. The only girl, Courtlyn, may be the best of all, her dad said.
Having a family with so much athleticism is rare, 247Sports analyst Rusty Mansell said.
The only other family comparable to the Singleton’s, Mansell said, is the Griffin family from Rome, who have three boys playing college football in the Atlantic Coast Conference and one that played at Georgia Military College. Their father, Tyrone Griffin, played football at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
“You know, the only other family I think compares to me is the Griffins that were at Rome a couple years ago,” he said. “They have a son at Virginia Tech, and two others at Georgia Tech, so they got three kids playing in the Atlantic Coast Conference right now. But it is kind of rare.”
In the Singleton family, athleticism is not rare. It is something that runs in the family and has for generations.
Carlo hails from Chicago but moved to Marietta in eighth grade and was a standout basketball player at Campbell High School, where he led his team to a region championship. His father, Charles Singleton, an avid lover of sports, played basketball at Texas Southern University.
Margaret is from Gainesville, Florida, and her father, Mark Whittemore, was a sprinter at the University of Florida. Her brother, also named Mark, played football at the University of Central Florida and now coaches high school football in Gainesville. He has four children with his wife, Missy, who played volleyball at Florida — Luke, a wide receiver at Troy; Trent, a wide receiver at Florida; Creed, a 17-year-old with various collegiate offers; and 12-year-old Andrew.
“It has just been pretty much like a fairy tale,” Carlo said. “All these kids have been genetically made for sports.”
After living in Cleveland, Tennessee, the Singletons moved to Kennesaw in 2012. Living in Cleveland, Carlo Singleton said, had a big impact on his kid’s future in sports.
“At that time, we are seeing now there are a lot of Division I football from (Cleveland),” he said. “So, it was a talent rich area at the time, it is not as talent rich now, but it produced a lot at the time.”
Being the oldest, Christian set the tone for his younger siblings and served as a role model. Now, a sophomore playing football Western Michigan, Christian can look back on his siblings and all their success.
“To be honest, it’s wild,” Christian said. “It didn’t really come to terms with me until I got to college to realize how well they were doing in life, and in everything. As the oldest, it is a different type of standard that I am held to for them. It is almost like a father watching his kids.”
Before graduating from North Cobb in 2019, Christian played four years, rushing for 5,100 career yards and 53 touchdowns.
Next in line is Cobe. He graduated from North Cobb in 2021 and is now playing football at Erskine College in Due West, South Carolina. At North Cobb, Cobe played basketball and football. Cobe, however, was the best at basketball, according to his father.
“All the kids are gifted, they were good at basketball as well, but they put it down to concentrate on football,” he said. “Cobe was probably the most talented in basketball. He was on course to play D-I football as well, but his junior year he tore an ACL making an interception.”
Malachi, the middle child, is a junior at North Cobb. He is the starting quarterback and is currently ranked No. 15 nationally in his position according to 247sports. So far, he has offers from Georgia, Central Florida, Arkansas and more.
So far this season, Malachi leads North Cobb in both rushing and passing yards. In the air, he has 2,168 yards, 21 touchdowns and three interceptions, while he has 872 yards and 22 touchdowns on the ground.
A lot of Malachi’s talent, Carlo said, stems from his two older brothers.
“(Christian and Cobe) honestly keep Malachi humble, because they were better than Malachi” Carlo said. “So, Malachi was always trying to chase them. As long as he could best his brothers and be with them, that really meant he was three or four years ahead.”
Then there are the youngest of the bunch, Marcus and Courtlyn. Marcus follows in his brothers’ footsteps, he is a wide receiver and defensive back on the North Cobb Warriors sixth grade middle school team, and he also plays basketball for the sixth grade team at North Cobb.
Courtlyn plays a variety of sports, and she gets to cheer on her older brother Marcus on the sideline as a cheerleader on the North Cobb 6th grade cheer squad. In addition to cheerleading, she plays volleyball, and will run track and play softball in the summer.
“Courtlyn may be the best athlete,” Carlo said. “She plays everything, cheerleading, volleyball, softball, track.”
Tom Hobbs was Christian, Cobe and Malachi’s middle school football coach, and will soon coach Marcus. He said he cannot say enough good things about the brothers.
“The three that I have had, they are great kids,” he said. “They make everyone around them better. I have been fortunate with all three of the older boys, all of them played in championships when I had them in the eighth grade. Marcus will be my last hurrah at North Cobb, but he might end up being the best of all of them because he has those older brothers.”
Even though the family is more spread out now, with Christian in Michigan, Cobe in South Carolina and Malachi graduating next year, that does not stop the constant competition.
“When we are together, if someone has something to say, then we are lining it up,” Christian said. “If it is Thanksgiving and one of my cousins is over there saying (they are better) then we go after it.”