When you go against Marlton (N.J.) Cherokee running back Jon Lovett, you can take the easy way or you can take the hard way.
Whether it's speed or power, Lovett has a built-in advantage against defenders in the eyes of his head coach. On film, opposing coaches have to pick their poison.
“He has an ability to run passed you or run through you,” said Cherokee head coach P.J. Mehigan. “He's a physical back with speed. What jumps out on film, he's smart enough to run by you and if he runs by you, you're not going to catch him. But if you're in his way, he's going to punish you. He's going to make you work for the tackle, and he's going to get a couple of extra yards in the process if you get him down. He can lower his shoulder or show top-end speed.”
Lovett brings his speed, physicality and Big Ten size to the Rutgers recruiting class as the newest 2017 commitment. The Scarlet Knights hold commitments from the top two running back sin New Jersey – Lovett and South Jersey counterpart Jonathan Taylor of Salem (N.J.).
“I couldn't think of a more deserving guy,” Mehigan said. “Sometimes when you get kids with great talent, they don't always have a great work ethic. Jon is the opposite. Jon is a workhorse. He's a humble leader. He's a captain. He's all of the good things that you could hope for as a football coach.”
Rutgers adds Lovett as a running back with defensive versatility if needed.
Already 6-foot-1, 190 pounds, Lovett could grow into a defensive weapon should the need arise for head coach Chris Ash.
“Everybody wants him as a tailback but if you look at him, he could be a WILL linebacker at the next level,” Mehigan said. “His shoulders, he's a big dude. He could be a safety. He could be a linebacker. He's versatile enough that he can do a lot of things at the next level.”
Lovett added 15 pounds since his junior season, and is 100 percent focused on football.
“He doesn't do any other sports,” Mehigan said. “We always like our athletes to do other things. If he wanted to do something, he very well could have, but he loves the workout. He decided he wasn't going to do track and he was just going to focus on lifting and training and running. He's had a monster year.”