Elite 2011 RB "wouldn't mind staying home"

One of the top running backs in New Jersey's class of 2011 is coming off a school-record rushing performance. The player has a bundle of offers, and his suitors are a who's who of college football. He is in the process of building relations through recruiting, and talks about his home state school, Rutgers, and the possibility of staying home to play his college football.

If enough colleges weren't already looking at St. Peter's Prep of Jersey City (N.J.) junior running back Savon Huggins, he gave drooling college recruiters another reason Friday.

Huggins, one of the top players in the state's 2011 class, ran for a school-record 312 yard on 32 carries and scored three touchdowns in a 42-19 drubbing of St. Joseph of Montvale (N.J.).

"I was just playing and I didn't realize how many yards I had,'' Huggins said. "We were just playing. The outcome showed what we did in practice, and we wanted payback for last year (a 14-0 loss).

"I was surprised at the yards. It was an exciting feeling. It felt good, and proved my hard paid off.''

However, it's not as if Huggins needed the record-shattering performance to be noticed.

Before the 5-foot-11, 180-pound Huggins took his first snap as a junior, he held written offers from Rutgers, West Virginia, Boston College, Tennessee and Miami.

He is also being recruited by South Carolina, Notre Dame, Wake Forest Oklahoma, Pittsburgh, Penn State and Michigan.

"There's so many schools,'' Huggins said. "(Other schools) probably did offer, but my coach doesn't tell me so I stayed focused.''

Huggins is keeping his options open, but he said he knows plenty about the Scarlet Knights. He has been to Rutgers several times, and has spoken to a trio of Scarlet Knights coaches, including head coach Greg Schiano.

"Definitely, I like them a lot,'' Huggins said. "I'm starting to build a good relationship with (assistant) coach (Kyle) Flood, coach Schiano, (assistant) coach (Joe) Susan. I've been there for high school games. I've been to the facility. The Hale Center and the weight room are ridiculous. I really like Rutgers a lot. I really wouldn't mind staying home.''

And, yes, Huggins is a focused individual off the field, beginning with his daily hour-long commute from his home in Jackson, N.J., to Jersey City.

He wakes up 5 a.m. during the week, and often does not get home until 8 p.m. There are also nights he arrives home closer to 10 p.m., then has to complete his homework.

"It's dedication. Prep is not for everyone,'' Huggins said. "You have to go in with the mindset you have to be dedicated to doing it. There was definitely a reason I chose prep, so I would be more acclimated.''

When choosing a school, Huggins also has a mature approach.

"You want to take football out of the equation,'' Huggins said. "Academics are first. It has to be a very good academic school. The coaching staff has to be important, but you can't go on that. They could leave at any time, and you are still at the school.''

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