When one looks at the defensive unit to see number 32 standing in the defensive backfield, the first thing that comes to mind is, “Is this guy a linebacker or a defensive back?” Singh at a 6’0, 210 pounds looks solid and formidable. Here are Singh’s responses to the questions on the minds of BYU fans who participated.
Singh was the first ever recruit to commit to former BYU head coach Gary Crowton. Having recently come home from an LDS mission, Singh has found the program under the direction of a coach he had previously never met in Bronco Mendenhall. So what are the difference between then and now?
“I was recruited under Crowton and the program under Crowton was amazing,” Singh said. “But now the intensity and the desire to become the best is even greater, and our minds, accountability, discipline and effort is being applied everyday as we work. So something we’re striving for, of course, is perfection.”
With his two year LDS mission behind him, Singh is grateful BYU coaches allowed him to have four straight years to compete.
“It feels great to have four years of eligibility and I‘m grateful for that,” said Singh. “It’s really reassuring and encouraging because if something happens I would still have those extra years. There’s a very bright future ahead for this team. It’s very bright.”
Prior to Spring practice, Singh was involved in many of the voluntary workout sessions under strength and conditioning coach Jay Omer. Now that Spring practice is fully underway, how does Singh feel about shaking the rust off those missionary legs?
Said Singh: “Well it’s interesting because as far as running and physical conditioning I’m pretty strong. I was squatting 435 the other day and I was really surprised, but my conditioning definitely needs some help so I’ll be working on that over this summer.”
Concerning Coach Omer’s workout program and which aspect of it he most enjoys, Singh said: “Well Coach Omer’s lifting program is pretty intense, and I think everything we do is challenging. We push ourselves to the limit in everything we do, but at the same time it’s enjoyable and it’s only going to help us become the best.”
One of the new conditioning challenges the BYU coaching staff has implemented this year is the 49er “beep” test. Aaron chuckled about his first time performance running the drill.
“Oh man my peep test score was pretty terrible, especially being just off a mission,” laughed Singh. “The first time I did I scored a 50-52 and we had no idea what we were doing. So that was definitely the lowest, but then I bumped it up the next time to 80-82. And that was actually my goal was to get 80, and but now as we are going now I think we can go over 100-112. That’s my next goal.”
Both an offensive and defensive player in high school, Singh had the option to play on either side of the ball. With BYU’s defensive secondary a little thin, Singh took the option of playing the hitter rather than the receiver and is now being groomed as a defensive back at the college level.
“You know, I had an option [for offense or defense] but I actually leaned toward the safety position because there were more positions open and I think we needed more help,” Sing said. “I also actually like hitting people better than running away from them.
“Right now I’m practicing right and left Kat and I actually really like it. The more experience players will play Cougar so right now I’m working at right and left Kat. I really enjoy Kat and it’s a fun position because it’s kind of like the outside linebacker, but sometimes you get the joys of safety with it.”
With so many new faces in the secondary of BYU, Singh is actually impressed with the early results. With today being the first day of light spring practice scrimmage, Singh was impressed with the defensive back’s early results defending this new BYU passing attack.
“I was really surprised at how well we were doing because we don’t have a lot of people with a lot of playing time, so the way we look right now I was really surprised at how well we were doing,” Singh said.
With the graduation of senior defensive backs Aaron Francisco and Jon Burbridge, Singh talks about those in whom have stepped up to take their place as leaders in the defensive secondary.
“Dustin Gabriel is definitely one of the natural leaders,” Singh said. “Spencer White is one of the natural leaders. David Taufuna is not playing right now but he probably knows the secondary better than anybody else so he helps all the new guys out with our secondary responsibilities.”
Ahead of Singh across the D-line and linebacker’s positions are many players BYU fans and opposing teams know all to well. Trench players like Daniel Marquardt, Manaia Brown, Vince Feula and linebackers Wagner, Jensen, Lovely, Ah You and Luettgerodt. For Singh, having guys like these in front of you is very comforting.
“Oh the D-line, I love those guys because they’re huge and they’re fast. I mean it doesn’t get any better than that,” said Singh. “If you’re huge and fast, that’s scary enough and I’m glad they’re on our side of the ball. With the linebackers it’s the same thing. They’re just as good as DB’s. They’re quick and they’re strong, so my hats off to them because they always gotta cover the number one guy on offense.”
BYU’s skill position packs plenty of firepower, and for Singh there’s quite a few players he faces time and time again trying to make a play in the backfield. Singh feels each of BYU’s wide receivers provides a different challenge in their own way. So which is the toughest for him?
“Todd Watkins is definitely one of the top because he’s quick and fast off the ball, and once he goes on a streak it’s hard to catch up to him and most times you can’t,” said Singh. “Bryce Mahuika is a quick guy too. I mean he’s got the quick legs and you try and watch his hips and he’s just so quick. Matt Allen is great. He runs his routs very, very well. Oh, Michael Morris and Joe Griffin those guys are quick for their size, and ,well, all our receivers. I can go on and on about all these guys. Even Dan Coats, he’s big and he can move and it’s tough covering him as well.”
With out of conference teams like Boston College and Notre Dame on the schedule, along with in conference rival and MWC champs Utah, there is one school Singh really wants to play this year, and it‘s one that‘s really hits close to home.
“I really want to play San Diego State because I know a lot of guys playing at San Diego, and of course Notre Dame because they’re a good school that believes in a lot of tradition,” said Singh.
Currently, Singh has a younger brother who just finished up his senior year of high school football. So is there another Singh BYU fans could be seeing soon?
“You know, right now he’s preparing for his mission, but during his senior year he was doing an amazing job in his first four games, but he had a season ending knee injury,” said Singh. “But if he has a chance to come here I think he would definitely take it.”
Next on the TBS “Fan Quest” list is offensive linemen Travis Bright.