Rutgers’ Savon Huggins Readying For Expanded Role

By Matt Sugam

PISCATAWAY – With Jawan Jamison’s status in question due to a sprained ankle suffered against Army, Savon Huggins could be assuming a role at Cincinnati that everyone thought he’d have by now coming in as the top recruit in New Jersey in 2011. He’ll be the workhorse feature back for Rutgers.

It’s a position that Jamison has run away with this season. In turn, Huggins has seen his role diminish after an injury against Howard caused him to miss the next two games.

Now, Huggins has been thrust into the spotlight as Jamison hasn’t practiced yet this week and his status for the game remains 50-50. While Huggins is preparing for a more expanded role than usual, his mindset hasn’t changed despite the fact that he could be starting and taking more carries than he has all season.

“I’m going through everything just like I have every other week,” Huggins said. “I’m not really worried about anything else but getting the job done when my number’s called like it was called in the last game.”

In that game, Huggins rushed the ball 10 times for 33 yards including runs of 10 and 12 yards while Jamison was getting his ankle evaluated and taped.

Still, the St. Peter’s Prep product hasn’t lived up to the hype coming out of high school. Huggins has 165 yards on 52 attempts this year after an injury-shortened season as a freshman where he carried the ball 56 times for 146 yards.

Despite that, Huggins doesn’t feel like he needs to go out there and show the fan base what he can do. That he can live up to the billing. There’s just one person that the game against Cincinnati can be a proving ground for.

“For myself,” Huggins said. “I know what I can do, but I want to go out there and prove it to myself that I can go out there and get the job done just as well as they saw on Saturday, and if my number’s called a few more times, I’m ready to go.”

And despite the lack of carries, yards or highlight reel plays compared to Jamison, his offensive line is confident that as long as they give him a little bit of daylight, Huggins will make things happen.

”He’s a hard working kid not matter if he’s the starter or the backup. When he’s in the football game, he’s going to make you realize he’s in the football game,” left guard Antwan Lowery said. “He’s taking on this role. If he’s the starter Saturday he’s going to be ready.”

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