Rutgers lands star running back

In what could provide a much-needed boost to its sagging running game, Rutgers received a commitment from top in-state tailback Savon Huggins on Friday.

Huggins, a 5-foot-11, 195-pounder, is an ESPNU150 prospect and rated as the No. 4 running back in this class by ESPN. He is the highest ranked player in the 2011 class -- ESPN has him No. 28 overall -- to commit to a Big East program so far.

Huggins chose the Scarlet Knights over North Carolina and Notre Dame. He ran for 1,891 yards and 35 touchdowns as a senior at Saint Peter's High School this past season.

Rutgers hasn't mounted a very effective running game since Ray Rice left for the NFL after his junior year. To expect Huggins to duplicate Rice's production is unfair, but he has the talent to help shore up the rushing attack, provided that the offensive line can improve.

The Scarlet Knights also got a verbal commitment from former Pitt pledge Max Issaka on Friday. He's a three-star defensive end and another New Jersey product. Rutgers has done very well recruiting in state this year despite a 4-8 season on the field.