Huggins: "My heart was at Rutgers"

JERSEY CITY, N.J. -- Rutgers pulled off a huge recruiting coup Firday night, but not before five-star running back Savon Huggins pulled a quick one by first donning a North Carolina hat. He then changed to his Rutgers hat and "chopped" away in pronouncing his decision to play for Rutgers.

JERSEY CITY, N.J. – Savon Huggins reached into a bag, flipped on a North Carolina hat, stood up and proclaimed "Carolina!"

Cheers echoed throughout the second floor of the library at St. Peter's Prep, and Huggins smiled and looked around.

Then, he flipped his Carolina hat off to reveal a Rutgers one underneath, and began doing the chop to a thunderous ovation from many of the 100-plus folks in attendance.

Laughing and relaxed after one final misdirection in his recruitment, Huggins, a five-star running back and the No. 4 running back in's 2011 class, gave Rutgers the biggest commitment in its football history.

"I believe we can win," Huggins said. "I believe in coach Schiano's philosophy. I built a relationship over my four years. …When I went there on my official visit, I just felt at home. I couldn't explain it to you. Yes, they didn't have a very good season, but I felt my heart was at Rutgers."

In the aftermath of the decision, Huggins was joined by a handful of Rutgers players in receiver Mohamed Sanu, quarterback Chas Dodd, offensive lineman Andre Civil, receivers Jeremy Deering and Brandon Coleman and commits Mike Bimonte and Keith Lumpkin.

"I talk to Mo every day," Huggins said. "I talked to Civil. (Sanu) hit me up yesterday. He wanted to wish me luck, and as you can see, they're here supporting me.

"(Sanu) didn't know (before he arrived). He told me, ‘Look, at the end of the day, you're still going to be my brother, regardless of if you come here or not.' He had no clue. None of them had any clue. I was like, ‘Come. Just come.' He didn't realize it until he walked in the room."

Huggins is leaving in the morning for the USA vs. The World all-star game in Texas, and will sign his binding letter of intent during a morning breakfast for the players.

What put it over the top was his official visit to Rutgers over the weekend, especially during his trip to New York City in which he spoke with many members of the program, its coaching staff and committed players.

"It was family," Huggins said. "A lot of coaches say that, but you can tell. You can feel it in the room. With a 4-8 record, and still being as close as they are, that tells you something about the program, it tells you something about the head coaching, and what they believe in, and he's ready to take us to the next level."

The 6-foot, 197-pound Huggins ran for more than 1,900 yards and 35 touchdowns as a senior.

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