In late June, Huggins will be taking a visit out to Notre Dame and then following that up with a trip to Wisconsin. Several days later, he intends to release the top 10 list. Huggins said that only one school is a definite right now, and that is in-state Rutgers. According to the running back, about "15 programs" are in the mix to get whittled down to that top 10.
As to why Huggins is announcing a top 10 list, he answers simply and with a laugh.
"Because I can," Huggins said.
One program that was early to offer Huggins is Penn State. The Nittany Lions are very much in the mix to make his top 10 list and it would be a major surprise if the program didn't make the July 1 cut. Unlike some of the other programs that are constantly burning up his phone, Huggins said that Penn State has a different approach.
"They're a lot more traditional, old-school in how they do things," Huggins said. "They let you know that they want you but they don't pressure you or are on you all the time. They have their way of doing things, and it is a different approach than most schools."
Huggins said that he isn't sure if he will take one more visit to Penn State. He said that he feels comfortable with the program and the system and that he can use the time to visit and learn about another program he might not know as much about. Penn State is clearly in the mix, as he talks positively about the school's tradition and coaching staff.
Interestingly though, from a player who gets bombarded with so much attention from programs, he had an interesting comment about Penn State.
"I wouldn't mind hearing from them some more," Huggins said.
The trip to Notre Dame will be an interesting one for the player as Huggins will get a chance to check in on new head coach Brian Kelly and his newly implemented spread offense in South Bend. As someone who likes to pound the ball and sees himself as a feature back, Huggins wants to see if the offense is right for him. He said that the team will be doing some informal, voluntary workouts while he takes his visit, so it will be a good chance for him to see the offense and determine if he can see himself in that system.
Huggins also acknowledged that the offense is similar to Florida's and that the chance to see Notre Dame up close could help him in deciding if the Gators would be a good fit or not.
Gainesville is frequently calling him and Huggins says that along with Rutgers' head coach Greg Schiano, he has developed the closest relationship with Urban Meyer. Schiano, he said, has been a friend since his freshman year and was present when he scored his first touchdown and congratulated him on the occasion. Urban Meyer is someone Huggins has a lot of contact with and he says he trusts the Florida coach.
Any program vying for Huggins will seem to have to overcome the obvious tight bond the player has with Rutgers. He said that the school is very appealing to him and that he's quite comfortable there, having taken numerous visits.
"If I went there, I'd be known throughout the state, from north to south. I know or have played against a lot of these players in New Jersey or have met them at different events and combines. They know me and I know them," Huggins said. "But New Jersey is also in the media capital of the world and I would get known from playing at Rutgers, all throughout the state and the country. Just like Ray Rice, who got that exposure from playing at Rutgers, before becoming a star in the NFL."
Already out of school since May, Huggins said that he is in no rush to make a decision and fully plans to make a choice when he is settled on a program.
"I'm in no rush. I'll decide when the time is right," Huggins said.
Kristian R. Dyer can be reached for questions, comments and crude remarks at KristianRDyer@yahoo.com and followed at twitter.com/kdyer1012