Penn State had the sixth-ranked recruiting class according to 247 Sports in 2022 and a major player in that class was Nick Singleton. Singleton came in and immediately changed the course of the 2022 season for the Nittany Lions and has now been named the Big Ten Freshman of the Year.
Singleton had 149 rushing attempts for 941 yards and 10 touchdowns, and he added 11 catches for 85 yards and a touchdown. This performance also earned him All-Big Ten third-team honors on offense as well from both the media and coaches of the conference.
While he wasn't used in the passing game as much as some may have liked, he did produce as a kick returner. He averaged 25.8 yards per kickoff return and returned one 100 yards for a touchdown against Rutgers several weeks ago. As a result, Singleton also earned second-team recognition from the Big Ten media as a return specialist.
There were questions about this Penn State offense before Singleton though. Sean Clifford was returning for his fifth year and people didn't know how the offense would handle losing wide receiver Jahan Dotson as well.
Singleton came in to immediately become a presence on offense and allowed for Penn State to control time of possession in nearly every game they played this season. There were some fumbling issues in spots but that is what young players do, make mistakes.
Now expectations will be sky-high for both Penn State and Singleton heading into 2023 and beyond. The running back from Reading, PA appears to be up for the task though.
Singleton is the third Penn State player in program history to be named the Big Ten's freshman of the year. He joins quarterback Christian Hackenberg (2013) and defensive end Deion Barnes (2012). Running back Curtis Enis was the media's pick for freshman of the year in the Big Ten in 1995 (the Big Ten coaches chose defensive back Charles Woodson from Michigan).
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Story originally appeared on Nittany Lions Wire