One of the biggest recruits is off the board and enrolling at the University of Rutgers for next semester. Running back Savon Huggins has been billed as a top recruit at the Running Back position. He decided to stay in his home state of New Jersey, and help build a still-growing Rutgers program.
It did not seem all that long ago that Rutgers was becoming a force in the Big East. The Scarlet Knights managed to win eight games in 2008 (which ended with a bowl win over N.C. State), and nine games in 2009 (add another bowl win over UCF). The program seemed to be well on their way, to taking that “next step” and making into the BCS conversation.
Then came 2010, and the Scarlet Knights ended up with a miserable 4-8 record, a far cry from their recent successes. It was a year, that saw almost everything go wrong for the Knights. They only managed one conference win; a 27-24 upset over eventual Conference winner, Connecticut. One of 2010’s biggest struggles was in the running game. The Scarlet Knights ranked 110th in the country, averaging barely 100 yards a game.
The addition of Huggins should help that number rise, and quickly. Huggins is said to have an incredible center of gravity, and defenders looking to try to level a big hit may find themselves left in his dust as he blows by them. Despite his agility, Huggins is not afraid to take on defenders one-on-one and run them over. Huggins also displays great top-end speed, and that ability to out-run opposing defenders will be key in helping a dismal Rutgers running game.
Even with all these factors, Huggins still has some issues to work on. He will need to get better at catching the ball out of the backfield and becoming a threat in the passing game.
He also seems to struggle at times with his pass blocking, which he will need to work long and hard on when the summer practices begin. It also would behoove him to strengthen his lower body to continue to stay at the top of the running back class. If he can work on all these things, Rutgers may have just walked away with the biggest steal of the 2011 recruiting class.
Does this make Rutgers the favorite to win the Big East next season? Not necessarily. The Scarlet Knights still have a myriad of problems all over the field, and will need to sign more key recruits on both sides of the ball. RU can only hope that Huggins’ signing will lead said recruits to the Scarlet Knights football team.
Even though Rutgers still needs a lot of help, the Savon Huggins signing certainly is a step in the right direction to rebuilding the 11-win program from 2006.