Past Experience — Huggins had a hot and cold true freshman season after coming to Piscataway with enormous expectations. Huggins started strong. His two-touchdown performance against Howard to start the season put him in Ray Rice territory in terms of a true freshman in his first game.
From there, Huggins started struggling with fumbles, specifically in the redzone, and a knee injury ended his season prematurely. In nine games off the bench, Huggins ran for 146 yards and five touchdowns.
As a Recruit — One of the biggest acquisitions in Greg Schiano's 11-year tenure, the five-star tailback committed to Rutgers with some flair in the St. Peter's Prep library. Huggins put on a North Carolina hat only to reveal a Rutgers hat beneath to loud reactions from a crowd of 200 people.
Huggins was Scout.com's fourth rated running back in the Class of 2011.
Spring Performance — Huggins took a huge step toward getting his five-star swagger back with an impressive spring at tailback. He corrected his fumble problems that plagued him before his injury last season and clearly grew from a maturity standpoint under new position coach Norries Wilson.
Huggins statistically out-performed Jawan Jamison by a slim margin in scrimmage settings and had fewer turnovers, but the job is still expected to be shared among the two talented sophomores.
Does Well — Huggins does a lot well as a running back and that is why he ranked in as a five-star recruit less than two years ago. He has the size and strength to be an every-down back and gets stronger as the game goes on. Huggins displayed impressive vision and hit holes fast in high school. As a true freshman, he was best in short-yardage situations and would have become a dangerous goal-line back if not for his knee injury.
Needs to Improve — Maybe it was confidence. Maybe the pressure was too much. Whatever it was, Huggins had fumble problems last season and putting the ball on the ground is something unforgivable for running backs in the Rutgers system, especially in the redzone.
Long-Term Outlook — With three years of eligibility left, Huggins has plenty of time to become the incredible impact player he is expected to be. He may not have met expectations as a true freshman, but the offensive line continues to improve and he will be performing in a more efficient offensive system under Dave Brock this season.
Even if Huggins splits carries 50/50, there will be plenty of opportunities to make the big plays expected of him.