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‘It’s Just Really Brotherly Love’: Nick Singleton Gives Back To Hometown That Shaped Him

It’s 3 p.m. on a Sunday. Penn State football running back Nick Singleton is standing on a turf football field that the summer heat has cooked to over 100º as he nears the end of a line of middle and grade schoolers waiting for autographs and pictures.

The kids, members of the Olivet Boys and Girls Club, take their freshly signed shoes and run away to show them off to their friends. Singleton continues to sign footballs and Gatorade cups at the conclusion of the Nick Singleton Football Clinic, a two-hour event for kids in Singleton’s hometown of Shillington, Pennsylvania, at his alma mater of Governor Mifflin High School.

Singleton, along with Gatorade, had just given $25,000 to the Boys and Girls Club and his high school’s football and cheerleading teams, with the two groups splitting the money evenly. It’s how Singleton wants to give back to the places and groups that made him.

“It meant a lot,” Singleton said after the event. “This is where it all happened since day one, so just being back out here with the fans, with the little kids, it’s meant a lot.”

Singleton is standing on the field where he made history for his high school. The Governor Mifflin alum was a five-star prospect and top-ranked running back in the high school recruiting Class of 2022. He was named the Gatorade National Player of the Year, an award not given to high school football players who only hold high levels of talent, but also those who excel in the classroom and in their community as well.

Coming home is extra special for Singleton. He has two cousins who participated in the camp. He gets to see old friends and reconnect with the establishment that’s made him into one of Penn State football’s most popular talents.

“It’s a good connection. The fans have been really good ever since I’ve been here,” Singleton said. “This whole community, it’s just really brotherly love here.”

Governor Mifflin isn’t Singleton’s only connection at the event. Penn State’s top running back used to be a part of Olivet Boys and Girls Club when he was younger, too. His family is still involved with the organization, and his brother continues working with the group.

That connection with the kids that were running around the field after the event ended resonates with Singleton. He remembers what it was like to be in their shoes, and that’s why he believes it’s so important to give back to his community.

“I’ve been in these types of shoes when I was young,” Singleton said. “So just them looking at me, it means a lot.”

This wasn’t Singleton’s first event like this — he put on a similar event last year during the earlier stages of his partnership with Gatorade. Coming back to his roots has been important to him, and while he doesn’t have immediate plans for the future, he wants to return for a third year at the very least.

He’s unsure how long he’ll keep coming back to Governor Mifflin High School, but Singleton wants to be involved as long as he can. An NFL prospect already, the former Bronco isn’t leaving Shillington, Pennsylvania, behind anytime soon.

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About the Author

Joe Lister

Joe is a senior journalism major at Penn State and Onward State's managing editor. He writes about everything Penn State, especially its 10-2 football team. If you want to find him, Joe's usually watching soccer with his shirt off or at the gym with his shirt on. For dumb stuff, follow him on Twitter (iamjoelister). For serious stuff, email him ([email protected]).

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