JERSEY CITY, N.J. (AP) - Savon Huggins could be the best running back to come out of St. Peter’s Prep.
That’s saying something. Over the past 25 years, the Jersey City school has produced its fair share of standout backs, much like Penn State produces linebackers.
Some of those who have come through St. Peter’s include former Boston College standout Pedro Cirino, Temple’s Kee-Ayre Griffin and Rashawn Jackson, who is currently in training camp with the Carolina Panthers.
Huggins, 6-foot-1, 200-pounds, is on The Associated Press East Region 25 list of top recruits. He rushed for 1,475 yards and 20 touchdowns last year for St. Peter’s Prep, which again played for the NJSIAA Non-Public Group 4 state championship last fall.
Huggins also set the school’s single-game rushing mark with a 312-yard outing against St. Joseph of Montvale in the state playoffs and eclipsed the 200-yard mark on three different occasions. He has the perfect combination of speed, size and strength.
“I hit the weight room hard and worked hard to get ready,” Huggins said. “I had to focus on my legs, my power, and my explosiveness. I worked hard on my speed. I knew that it would be better to be a better all-around back.”
Veteran Prep head coach Rich Hansen knew that Huggins would be ready to take on the increased responsibilities, simply because of his offseason workout regimen.
“He’s gotten a little bigger, a little faster, and a little stronger,” Hansen said. “He’s running with better leverage now. He’s getting more of an opportunity to show that he’s ready to shoulder more of the load. He also knows the offense better.
“If you watch him now, he’s on a mission. He’s a very physical runner. He knows he’s going to get banged up, but he’s mentally tougher and he’s taking it. We’ve gotten past that phase.”
Huggins is also an excellent student. He’s considering Florida, Penn State, Wisconsin, North Carolina, Notre Dame, Rutgers, Pitt and Stanford among his college choices.
“Savon is such an intelligent kid,” Hansen said. “He’s a student of the game. He understands the intricacies of the game and puts it all together.”
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