JUCO RB Natereace Strong Set to Bolster Missouri Backfield

JUCO running back Natereace Strong is now expected to qualify academically to join the Missouri Tigers in 2016.

It looks like running back Natereace Strong will arrive at the University of Missouri sooner rather than later after all. 

Last month it was reported Strong, a standout from East St. Louis (Ill.) High School currently at Hinds Community College in Mississippi, would not be able to complete his academic work in time to transfer before the 2016 season. 

On Wednesday, Gabe DeArmond of PowerMizzou.com reported Strong would indeed meet his qualifications in time to get to Columbia early enough for the 2016 season. A source confirmed to BlackAndGoldIllustrated.com and various other media outlets also confirmed. 

Strong rushed for 1,612 yards and 18 touchdowns during his senior season at East St. Louis in 2014. He was limited by an injury to 102 yards on 15 carries at Hinds last season. 

The Tigers will have now five East St. Louis products on the roster in 2016: Strong, fellow JUCO signee Greg Taylor, sophomore defensive tackle Terry Beckner Jr., freshman offensive lineman Tre'Vour Simms and junior walk-on defensive back Dominic Nelson.


The Tigers’ backfield suffered three losses in the offseason with the departures of Chase Abbington, Morgan Steward and Marquise Doherty, depleting the depth at the position under new coach Barry Odom. 

But the running back corps has been bolstered this offseason by the transfer of Alex Ross from Oklahoma and the signings of Strong and Arkansas high school standout Damarea Crockett.

Those three players join a returning group that includes Ish Witter, the Tigers’ leading rusher in 2015, Trevon Walters and Ryan Williams.

The running game was a sore spot for Missouri a year ago, when the Tigers averaged 115.4 yards rushing per game and 3.49 yards per carry, but the new additions should help them improve in that area.


You can follow Nate Latsch on Twitter at @NateLatsch or email him at natelatsch@gmail.com

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