Tackling machine Bryson Strong, a Class of 2017 linebacker at Althoff Catholic High School in Belleville, Ill., describes the recruiting process so far as going perfect with just one exception.
“Iowa I believe will be my first power five offer. I’m going up there June 5 to camp out. Basically they just said they want to see how I do in their drills and they want to see how I move and like do the things that they do. I believe I’ll probably end up receiving offers from NIU, Eastern Michigan, Cincinnati, SEMO (Southeast Missouri State), Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota, Illinois State, Indiana State, Central Michigan.”
A 5-foot-11, 220-pounder, Strong has played middle linebacker in the past but will be switching to outside linebacker for his senior season as the Crusaders change defensive schemes.
Whatever the scheme, he’s proven to be productive.
Strong led Althoff with 155 tackles and 10 sacks and added two fumble recoveries and one interception as a junior in 2015 as the Crusaders went 13-1 and finished second in the state.
As a sophomore, he was credited with 169 tackles, four fumble recoveries, three sacks and two interceptions as Althoff went 7-4.
What are schools saying they like about Strong?
“They saw they like how agile I am, how quick I am, getting off blocks, making plays,” he said. “A SEMO coach came in and he was just like I’m like a calculator almost or something like that — I just solve problems. He just liked the way I react so quickly to things. I feel like I’m really good at reading and seeing where I need to be and getting there quickly, faster than anybody else I believe.”
Strong’s impressive production backs up that point and has helped him attract interest from a wide variety of schools up to this point.
He’s taken several unofficial visits to schools, including to Junior Day events like at Missouri, but will have a couple chances to prove himself in the near future at various camps.
Strong said he’s planning to attend camps at Iowa, Northern Illinois and Southeast Missouri as well as an upcoming mega camp at Lindenwood University that will have coaches from Iowa State, Nebraska and several other schools in attendance. Illinois and Missouri are also hosting camps in the St. Louis area in the next two weeks.
That’s the next step as Strong shows he’s worthy of offers to play at the next level, something he’s eager to prove because he has yet to receive that elusive first offer.
“I feel like everybody has their own recruiting process and everybody’s process is different,” Strong said. “Honestly, it was frustrating at one point. Then I just thought about it one day and I was just like, I’m going to put it in God’s hands. He’s had my back. He’s had my back through all the stuff I’ve been through with my dad passing away. So I’m going to put it in God’s hands. I’m just going to keep grinding and keep showing that I’m the best LB in the country.”
“I know my time is coming,” Strong added. “I know a lot of other people know my time is coming. It’s a matter of it happening. It’s a process and some people’s process is slower than others and I’m OK with that. Do I wish I had offers? Yes. But I’m just going to control what I can control.”