NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - Rutgers football made quite the splash as head coach Greg Schiano and Co. locked down running back Savon Huggins, the No.1 ranked recruit in New Jersey.
The feat marks the first time that Rutgers University has kept the state’s top prospect at home.
Huggins, ranked the No.4 running back in the nation by ESPN, was named an Under Armor All-American and is ranked No.28 on the ESPNU 150 list of the top football prospects. As a senior at St. Peter’s Prep in Jersey City, Huggins ran for 1,891 yards and 35 touchdowns en route to being named the New Jersey Gatorade Player of the Year.
“In Huggins, we feel the Scarlet Knights have their next Ray Rice with perhaps better speed and shake,” ESPN’s Billy Hunter said. “Huggins is not a back that is going to "wow" you with a ton of flash, but he is very well-rounded and can move the chains in a number of ways.
The No. 4 RB in the country can pick up the tough inside yards or avoid tacklers would good burst and quickness through the hole.”
Huggins announced his commitment at a press conference at his high school on Jan. 28. The decision came down to RU or North Carolina after he received offers from a total 27 schools.
The Scarlet Knights secured another commitment on Jan. 28 from three-star defensive end Max Issaka from Woodbridge, who also chose Rutgers over UNC.
Issaka dropped his commitment from Pittsburgh earlier in the month after Pitt’s flurry of coaching changes, similarly to fellow RU recruit quarterback Gary Nova.
Former Pittsburgh and now current Rutgers coaches Frank Cignetti and Jeff Hafley have helped RU snag several Pitt recruits like Nova, Issaka, and Lafayette Pitts. Pitts is a three-star running back from Woodland Hills High School in Pittsburgh, Pa. He rushed for 1,758 yards and 28 touchdowns as a senior.
The Knights lost one commitment as linebacker Andrew Campolattano decided to give up football in order to wrestle collegiately. Campolattano has not yet decided on which school he will wrestle for and is still considering Rutgers and its No.5 ranked wrestling team.
The Knights recruiting class is still not ranked in ESPN’s top 25, despite the fact that several observers feel this class is better than their 21st ranked class in 2009.
The class is almost unanimously heralded as the second best in the Big East, trailing only Louisville, which has the only Top 25 class at No. 19. Rivals.com has Louisville ranked No.26 with Rutgers only slightly behind at No.30.
The Knights now boast 24 verbal commitments and are still in the hunt for several three and four star prospects. National Signing Day, the last day for recruits to commit, is on Feb. 2.