The Marauders open their "The Ring is the Thing" season against St. Joe's (Philadelphia) at 7 p.m. at Rutgers Stadium, with their eyes on capturing the state title after falling to nemesis Don Bosco Prep (Ramsey, N.J.) each of the last for years in the playoffs.
And there is heavy Rutgers interest in St. Peter's Prep's journey since the Scarlet Knights have offered four Marauders, are recruiting a handful of others.
"I know guys have been talking about it since the end of last season that the goal is the win the (state) title," St. Peter's Prep coach Rich Hansen said. "Saying it and doing it is something different, and it's going to be a tough road to get there. We have talent, but they have to work together."
Offensive tackle Keith Lumpkin, who is 6-foot-8, 285 pounds, became the first St. Peter's Prep player in Rutgers coach Greg Schiano's 10 seasons to commit to the Scarlet Knights, which is something he did Thursday night.
The Scarlet Knights coaching staff won't be watching the game since they play at Florida International at 8 p.m., but in an ironic twist, Rutgers' opponent in two weeks, North Carolina, will be at Rutgers Stadium to see Huggins.
"If you look at it, we have talent all over the place," Huggins said. "We have it on defense, we have it in the backfield, we have a great offensive line and receivers and quarterback. It's all about getting that state championship."
There are also a number of underclassmen Rutgers is eyeing, led by class of 2012 safety D.J. Singleton. He recently picked up a Rutgers verbal offer and also holds one from Miami.
The Scarlet Knights are also recruiting several members of the 2012 class, including running back Jared Creighton, receiver Najee Glass, tight end Michael Giacone and cornerback/quarterback Brandon Napoleon, and keeping tabs on class of 2013 athletes Tyrell Gibbs, Trey Bell and Charlie Callahan.
"I think this year we have guys that are really focused and there is no fooling around about what we want to do," Napoleon said. "The leadership is very good. The ring is the thing."
Yet, with the season underway, recruiting will shift to the back-burner for most of the recruits. The focus is St. Joe's, but also looking to end a streak of misses against Don Bosco Prep, which is now the premiere program in New Jersey.