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East St. Louis coach: Missouri leads for Terry Beckner Jr.

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This morning, Frank Cusumano of KSDK in St. Louis chatted with ESL head coach Darren Sunkett about the status of two big-time prospects.

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First, four-star running back Nate Strong, a Mizzou commit, is enrolled at Hinds CC and is attempting to become eligible for the 2016 season. He was one of Mizzou's first 2015 commits, but it has been rumored for a while that he might struggle to become eligible. This confirms that.

Second, Sunkett confirmed that Missouri is likely the favorite to win the commitment of defensive lineman Terry Beckner Jr., the No. 1 recruit in the country according to ESPN.com. Again, this is what we've heard for a while, but this is certainly a pretty close-to-the-source confirmation of that.

Beckner has three remaining visits lined up. He is heading to Auburn this coming weekend, then to Ohio State on January 23. His final visit will be to Mizzou on January 30. (He also visited Florida State in November.) Obviously Auburn and Ohio State are immense heavyweights in the recruiting world, and for all we know he'll be blown away by either or both of them. But we've been given plenty of reasons to believe that Beckner could or should end up in Columbia next year, and this is certainly pretty direct confirmation of that possibility.

For more on these two and Greg Taylor, a 2014 signee from ESL who is beginning his second semester at Hines, check out this David Morrison piece.