High school notebook: Samuel Singleton latest Northeast Florida addition for FSU football

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Fleming Island tailback Samuel Singleton sidesteps to escape a tackler against Atlantic Coast. The rising senior committed to Florida State football.
Fleming Island tailback Samuel Singleton sidesteps to escape a tackler against Atlantic Coast. The rising senior committed to Florida State football.

A future in garnet and gold works out just right for Samuel Singleton — and it's also a boost for Florida State fans.

On Friday night, the Super 11 running back committed to Florida State football, announcing his decision on Twitter in a decision that also marks the latest recruiting success for the Seminoles in Northeast Florida.

Ranked at No. 24 in the USA Today Top 100 for Florida, Singleton is listed as a four-star running back recruit, with 2,620 career rushing yards through three seasons with the Golden Eagles. Fleming Island enters the season among the top-rated programs in the Florida High School Athletic Association's Region 1-4S.

Particularly encouraging for Noles fans, meanwhile, is the apparent revival of Florida State's recruiting fortunes in Northeast Florida under Mike Norvell after years of struggle.

The Seminoles already have two area players from the 2023 class lined up in Singleton and Orange Park offensive tackle Roderick Kearney, and FSU has a chance of adding a third next week.

Raines defensive back Kenton Kirkland, like Singleton a multi-sport athlete with elite speed on the track, is poised to select between Florida State and Kentucky on Aug. 15. Florida State even has a 2024 recruit from the area scheduled to come on board in Columbia wide receiver Camdon Frier.

Last year, Florida State signed two Jacksonville-area players, Brunswick offensive lineman Kanaya Charlton and Fletcher defensive end Aaron Hester.

By contrast, FSU signed no Jacksonville-area recruits in the 2018, 2019 and 2020 classes, and only one (Columbia linebacker Shyheim Brown) for 2021.

The recent drought stands out even more because of Florida State's long and glittering history in the Jacksonville area during the program's heyday from the mid-1980s through the turn of the millennium.

The list goes on and on: Derrick Alexander (Raines), Laveranues Coles (Ribault), Sam Cowart (Mandarin), Reinard Wilson (Columbia), and newly-inducted Pro Football Hall of Fame safety LeRoy Butler (Lee), just to name a few.

Assuming he ultimately signs with the Seminoles, Singleton would become Florida State's first running back signee from the Jacksonville area since First Coast's Eric Beverly in the Class of 2011. Beverly committed to Florida State in December 2009, the final month on the Seminole sidelines for the late Bobby Bowden.

Local baseball trio makes national camp

As thousands of young athletes across the First Coast are donning pads for the start of football season, others are swinging for the fences — alongside some of the top prospects in the United States.

Three Jacksonville-area players are among 48 national selections for next month's 14U Perfect Game Select Baseball Festival.

Selected were pitcher Brayden Harris, who already started full-time with Trinity Christian as an eighth-grader this spring; Brady Harris, an outfielder/shortstop from St. Augustine; and Ethan Wheeler, a right-handed pitcher from Middleburg. All three are entering their freshman year of high school.

Players named to the squad will compete from Sept. 1-4 at JetBlue Park in Fort Myers, the spring training home of the Boston Red Sox.

The summer has been eventful for all three athletes, who have also received interest from USA Baseball for a training camp with the 15U national squad in Arizona. Brayden Harris and Wheeler are already committed to college baseball at Florida State and Florida, respectively.

Curry Camp memories for Spartans' Scott

Scoring star meets scoring star.

That was the reality last week for Taliah Scott, the Times-Union's All-First Coast girls basketball player of the year this spring after she won the state scoring title at St. Johns Country Day.

This time, the rising senior got a moment to remember — a photo, and some moments to remember on the basketball court, with Golden State Warriors guard Steph Curry.

The reigning NBA Finals MVP participated along with 26 elite high school prospects in both boys and girls basketball at the annual Curry Camp in San Francisco, with Scott representing the First Coast.

Committed to Arkansas, Scott averaged 31.5 points per game in 2021-22 at St. Johns Country Day, and she's only 171 points away from the 2,000 mark for her high school career.

Scott's month is due to get even more busy. She's among 24 nationally-ranked players scheduled to compete in the inaugural Under Armour Next Elite 24 girls basketball game, scheduled for 5 p.m. Friday at Northerly Island in Chicago. The game will be televised on ESPNU.

The Elite 24 event is the latest in several summer stops for Scott, ranked as a top-15 prospect by ESPN for the class of 2023. She is also scheduled to compete Aug. 20 at the SLAM Summer Classic at Rucker Park in New York City.

Around the area

St. Johns Country Day senior midfielder Avery Raimondo committed to the University of North Florida for women's soccer. ... Coaches around the state are remembering Trey Pike, head football coach and athletic director for Vernon in Washington County. Pike died in a boating accident in the Panhandle over the weekend. ... FHSAA board of directors meetings for the coming school year are scheduled for Sept. 25-26, Nov. 6-7, Feb. 26-27, April 23-24 and June 5-6.

Clayton Freeman covers high school sports and more for the Florida Times-Union. Follow him on Twitter at @CFreemanJAX.

This article originally appeared on Florida Times-Union: High school notebook: Samuel Singleton commitment boosts Florida State football