Running back Nate Strong and wide receiver Harry Ballard will not be enrolling at Missouri this fall. The news, first reported by Frank Cusumano, then confirmed by Gabe DeArmond, is that the two St. Louis athletes still need to improve their grades.
Nate Strong the promising Running Back from East St. Louis won't be @MizzouFootball until January 2017. Has some work to do in classroom.— Frank Cusumano (@Frank_Cusumano) June 1, 2016
Along w/Nate Strong, confirmed Harry Ballard III won’t be at #Mizzou this year. Going juco route. Rest of 2016 class reports this weekend— Gabe DeArmond (@GabeDeArmond) June 1, 2016
Nate Strong officially signed with Missouri on National Signing day in February after a detour to Hinds CC in Mississippi. He would have been the fourth product from Darren Sunkett's East St. Louis Flyers program, including Terry Beckner Jr., lineman Tre'Vour Simms and 2016 safety Greg Taylor who also attended Hinds last year. According to Cusumano, Strong will join the team in January of 2017.
Harry Ballard was a very late addition to the 2016 recruiting class and the concern was always about his grades. He reportedly had improved them enough to enroll, but apparently will need to head to a JUCO.
2016 recruits Trey Baldwin, Cale Garrett and Tucker McCann have already enrolled and participated in spring football. Christian Holmes, DeMarkus Acy, Damarea Crockett, Trystan Castillo, Tre'Vour Simms are among several who have already announced they'll be in Columbia by this weekend.
Running back Alex Ross, a grad transfer from Oklahoma, is in Columbia already, and should join lineman Kyle Mitchell as transfers who are immediately eligible.
With the loss of Strong and Ballard, Missouri is sitting at 83 scholarships - click the link for a helpful colorized chart of the scholarship situation. The Tigers have room to add two more over the summer, meaning lineman like UNC's Will Dancy or running backs like former Baylor commit Kameron Martin, are still options.