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Team USA Running Back: Larry Rountree III

Larry produced at every point in his career, even when the odds were against him.

NCAA Football: Georgia at Missouri Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Ever wondered what a Mizzou team that was comprised of only Missouri kids would look like? Or wonder how good an only-Texan Mizzou squad would do? Well, you’re in luck! This offseason, the Rock M Masthead is assembling the best team of Mizzou players by state that they graduated high school from. We compiled a list of the significant starters on every team from the year 2000 on and voted on the best players at their position group in order to create three “All-State” Mizzou squads: Team Missouri, Team Texas, and Team USA. Over the next nine weeks you’ll read about these Mizzou Greats that hailed from the respective regions and, hopefully, come away impressed with just how good these fictional teams could actually be.

This week features a position with several legendary players: the running backs.

Rountree, was an overlooked three-star after thought in the 2017 class of high school football recruits. Appalachian State, Boston College, and Miami (Ohio) were the only teams that has floated him a scholarship and he was looking to head to James Madison at the FCS level if Missouri hadn’t given him a scholarship offer. Thank goodness they did, right?

Despite always being part of a time share in the backfield, Rountree consistently produced. I think that’s what stands out the most to me about his time at Missouri. There were plenty of reasons for him to NOT produce, (offensive line, multiple backs playing, coaching transitions) and he always figured out a way to have an impact. Always fighting for that extra step, that extra yard. It was impressive.

The Rock M Masthead tended to agree with that thinking. Rountree was the overwhelming pick with Crockett getting a lone vote. Crockett was a really good player, but he only had three years at Mizzou, and one of them was injury riddled, so Larry Three Sticks gets the nod here.

Vote totals for Team USA Running Back

It doesn’t feel like recency bias either.

Rountree has the best resume of all of the USA running backs. He has the most rushing yards by a running back in program history, was a beacon of stability as he never missed a game in his career, and truly carried the load for the 2020 Tigers in a season where they overachieved.

Look at Larry’s career at Mizzou though. He endured a bowl ban, his recruiter Cornell Ford leaving, three different offensive coordinators, and a new head coach, Oh and to top it off, a global pandemic. All through it though, Rountree was not just a consistently great college player, but he was a key leader for some of these recent Mizzou teams.

As it stands now, Team USA is in a good place. There’s a lot of speed, smarts, and leadership between this QB/RB tandem. If NIL laws were a thing for both of these guys, I think they’d also see a lot of revenue for being the fan favorites that they are.

Team USA