Huggins has been a star on the field and in the classroom. He has led the Marauders to an 8-1 record by rushing for 1,535 yards and an eye-popping 31 touchdowns. Huggins has a 3.8 GPA and plans on studying physical therapy and sports medicine in college.Read More Below
Saint Peter's Prep running back Savon Huggins is known for his ability to break tackles. It's ironic, then, that he nearly gave up football because of his fear of contact.
"I played flag [football] at the age of six," he says. "Then I played tackle, and I didn't like it so I quit."
Since returning to the sport, Huggins has been anything but timid out of the backfield. His physical play has energized a dominant Saint Peter's Prep offense, and his 1,535 rushing yards and 31 touchdowns have propelled the team to an 8-1 record. The Marauders are pummeling opponents, outscoring the competition 268-15 over the last five games.
Huggins' effectiveness comes from his field vision as he has a knack for seeing plays develop. He blows by defenders with his shifty cuts and uses his low center of gravity to shake off many upper-body hits. Despite his skill set, he attributes his success to his relentless work ethic.
"I just always think I'm not that good," he says. "I need to go out there and prove myself."
That's certainly not how he's viewed by most college programs, with Huggins attracting more than 40 different scholarship offers to date. He's heavily considering Rutgers, Pitt and Notre Dame, among others, weighing location and offensive style into his decision. He's making evaluations in his official visits, taking particular note of his interaction (or lack thereof) with each head coach.
Academically driven, he's also placing stock in a quality education, hoping to build off the 3.8 GPA he has maintained in high school. He calls himself "competitive in the classroom" and plans on majoring in either sports medicine or physical therapy.
For now, his focus is twofold: improving his game and winning the New Jersey state title. He's accomplishing the former through studying the tendencies of Eric Dickerson and Marshall Faulk, improving his blocking -- a skill he singles out as his weakest -- and lifting weights to bulk up his 190-pound frame. Most uniquely, he uses karate to give himself an edge.
"It teaches you the mental aspects of things, like how to control anger," he says.
And for the playoffs? His attention is turned to Notre Dame Prep, St. Peters' opponent in the first round of the non-public, Group IV division. He was watching game film as early as last Saturday to prepare for their Nov. 13 showdown.
His biggest motivation is avenging last year's championship game, though, a 35-15 defeat to rival Don Bosco Prep. Huggins had a pedestrian 46-yard, no touchdown performance in the losing effort. He's been itching for a shot at redemption ever since.
"I wanna finish my senior season with a ring," he says. "I'm not gonna stop until I get it."