Jersey Record-Setter Eyes Lions

Class of 2014 running back Bogan likes Penn State but says he is early in the recruiting process. He is already his school's all-time rushing leader, having passed a former Big Ten standout.

Tony Stewart was one of the last Union (N.J.) High football products to headline a collegiate roster. During four years at Iowa (1987-1990) -- before Penn State joined the Big Ten -- Stewart racked up 2,562 career rushing yards, a Hawkeyes rushing record at the time.

That mark would fall soon enough, though, as Sedrick Shaw ran for 4,165 yards from 1993-96.

But Stewart still had one more record in his pocket -- the all-time rushing record at Union High. There, Stewart romped for 3,904 yards in interscholastic play, a record that stood for 26 years at the prep school in Northern New Jersey. That record is gone now too, though, as the Farmers are now breeding a new running back legend.

He's taken down Stewart's mark in just three years.

“That was my moment this season, without a doubt,” said Class of 2014 running back Jamauri Bogan. “It's such an honor to be our school's all-time leading rusher.”

The moment came midway through Union's 2012 season. Bogan needed just 76 yards to set the new standard but blew by it in spectacular fashion, rumbling for 270 yards and three scores in a win over Hillsborough. That brought his career total to 4,099 yards.

Union went on to lose early in the NJSIAA North Jersey Section 2, Group 5 , but not until Bogan finished the season with more than 1,000 yards and 16 touchdowns. Now that all the statistics are totaled, the junior is starting to gain plenty of interest from a plethora of FBS schools, including Penn State.

“I receive mail from Penn State currently, and I attended camp there over the summer,” Bogan said. “It's so early in my recruitment, and I'm still doing my research, but I feel Penn State is a great school. Football is going to be great with Coach [Bill] O'Brien there.”

His research on the Nittany Lions began way back in June, when the 5-foot-8, 160-pound back took part in PSU's first Advanced Skill Camp, which doubled as his first taste of University Park and State College.

“They have beautiful facilities there, a good staff, the atmosphere just seemed really good,” Bogan said. “The thing that summed up the visit was seeing inside the great facilities there. I didn't even know what to say.”

Timed recently with a 4.4 40-yard dash, his speed is unquestioned. But he also has strong vision.

“I try to do everything a running back is capable of, whether that's run between the tackles, hit the corner and go or just use my speed,” Bogan said. “I feel like my best assets are being able to outrun angles and make people miss. That's my favorite part of playing running back; making people miss when they think they have you.”

And with his season over, there's a lengthy list of schools -- including Georgia Tech, Temple, West Virginia, Rutgers, Pittsburgh, the Nittany Lions -- hoping to get in line early with hopes of making sure they don't miss him.

“I'm looking for a great town, great coach, great campus lifestyle,” Bogan said. “I'll start planning visits soon.”

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