Chicago Bears Countdown to Kickoff: 50 Days with Mike Singletary

Chicago Bears, Mike Singletary
Chicago Bears, Mike Singletary / Tony Tomsic-USA TODAY Sports
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Saturday marks 50 days until the start of the 2023 NFL season, meaning that Chicago Bears Countdown to Kickoff continues today by examining the life, career, and legacy of the best player in franchise history to don the number 50, Hall of Fame linebacker Mike Singletary.

Mike Singletary goes from Baylor Bears to Chicago Bears

Mike Singletary would eventually become synonymous with the Chicago Bears and the 46 defense, but his origins come from a completely different part of the country, but the same old Bears. The future Monster of the Midway hails originally from Houston, Texas, where he attended the nearby Worthing High School. There, Singletary exploded onto the scene as a dominant football player as early as his ninth-grade season, where he was named All-State after splitting time at guard and linebacker.

Following an impressive high school career, Singletary elected to accept a scholarship offer from the nearby Baylor University. During his college years, Singletary focused singularly as a middle linebacker and did so at an extremely high level. Despite being just about 6' 0" tall, slightly undersized for a linebacker, Singletary was a physical presence in the middle of the field.

As early as his sophomore season, Singletary etched his name into the Baylor Bears' history books, recording the most tackles in a season with 232. His career total tackles of 662 are also the school's record for most of all time. By the end of his collegiate career, Singletary had a case for one of the nation's best defensive players of all time. In four seasons, the linebacker was named to three All-American teams, three All-Southwest Conference selections, and his conference's Player of the Decade for the 1980s. Singletary also helped his team win the conference during the 1980 season.

Following Singletary's dominant collegiate career, the linebacker was viewed as one of the top linebackers of the 1981 NFL Draft. However, the Baylor great had to wait until the 38th overall pick for the Chicago Bears to finally call his name, making him the fifth linebacker drafted in the class (Lawrence Taylor, the first linebacker drafted, went second overall to the Giants). Nonetheless, Singletary joined the first-round selection Keith Van Horne in the team's draft class, a group that would eventually bring the franchise back to the top of the league.