Junior college running back Natereace Strong, a four-star recruit and the second-most highly rated signee in Missouri's 2016 recruiting class (per the 247Sports Composite), has, per PowerMizzou's sources, qualified after all. The 6'1, 210 back from East St. Louis failed to qualify in 2014 and spent a year at Hinds CC in Raymond, Miss. It was reported last month that he had not yet secured the credits he needed and probably wouldn't be able to report until the fall semester was complete. That has now changed.
Big change of course and news for #Mizzou: Nate Strong qualified, set to enroll this fall—https://t.co/oGgVHcaRum pic.twitter.com/SieknOhfwT— Gabe DeArmond (@GabeDeArmond) July 6, 2016
Nate Strong will have four years to play three at #Mizzou. Joins crowded but largely unproven backfield picture.— Gabe DeArmond (@GabeDeArmond) July 6, 2016
Also on Strong news, it’s why we’ve always been hesitant to wade into academics. Things can change, kids don’t need it aired publicly IMO— Gabe DeArmond (@GabeDeArmond) July 6, 2016
So I guess it's time to get reacquainted with Strong's highlight film.
Nate is a tough, strong, physical runner. Check out his highlights to see why:#MizzouMade #MIZNSD16 https://t.co/HAxFtxA0e3— Mizzou Football (@MizzouFootball) February 3, 2016
Strong will join what looks to be a nicely replenished Missouri backfield. With graduate transfer Alex Ross joining the mix, Missouri will now feature the following players battling for playing time:
- Alex Ross (6'1, 220, Sr.) -- 786 career rushing yards (5 TD), 66 career receiving yards
- Ish Witter (5'10, 190, Jr.) -- 619 career rushing yards (2 TD), 143 career receiving yards
- Trevon Walters (5'10, 200, So.)
- Nate Strong (6'1, 210, So.)
- Ryan Williams (6'0, 180, RSFr.)
- Damarea Crockett (5'11, 210, Fr.)
- Shaun Conway (5'9, 180, Jr. -- walk-on)
Ross, Strong, and Crockett are all former four-star recruits.
Injuries and attrition have caused quite a bit of turnover on the running back depth chart since the days of Henry Josey, Marcus Murphy, and Russell Hansbrough fighting for carries. The addition of Ross addressed a pretty big need, and now the addition (re-addition) gives Missouri some potential depth at the position.