PISCATAWAY – Since losing his starting job to walk-on Paul James in the Fresno State game, Savon Huggins’ carries have come few and far between. While he had 21 carries in a blowout win against FCS team Norfolk State, Huggins has had just 19 carries in the other three games.
He’s gone from Rutgers’ primary running back to watching on the sidelines. Now he has the opportunity to display he can be the workhorse running back with James out for at least the next two weeks with a lower leg injury.
“Seize my opportunity now basically,” Huggins said. ”…That’s what I really need to do.”
And so, Huggins knows he’ll have a two-game showcase to display that he and James should split carries upon his return.
“Yeah, more incentive,” Huggins said. “Just be hungry out there and play every snap like it’s your last…Just give it your all and leave it all out on the line because you never know when it’s going to be your last and just go out there and go as hard as you possibly can.”
It’s also an opportunity for Huggins to show there was a reason for all the hype upon his enrollment. Huggins was the consensus No. 1 recruit in the state of New Jersey in the class of 2011.
His freshman year, his season was cut short by injury. Last season, Jawan Jamison ran away with the starting job and took a bulk of the carries before running off to the NFL.
Huggins’ one shining moment came when Jamison was nursing an ankle injury and the 6-foot, 200-pounder ran for 179 yards and 41 carries against Cincinnati.
Now Huggins is looking to continues Rutgers’ successful rushing product.
“There is more pressure obviously, but I can’t focus on that,” Huggins said. “I never focused on that before.”
But he’s not only playing as a once ballyhooed recruit. He also has to fill in for the nation’s second leading rusher. However, Huggins isn’t focusing on replacing James’ 573 yards and 7.3 yards per carry average.
“It’s really not about that,” Huggins said. “It’s about doing your job and I’m not trying to compare myself to nobody else. I’m just trying to do my job within the system like he did and he did his job in the system and he had success with it and everything else will fall in line.”