Friday was an emotional time for Chris.
"A good friend of mine died late Thursday, so I had
to attend his funeral late Friday night. I did not get into town until Saturday
morning, around 10:30 am," added Chris Strong. "I needed to get in the
right frame of mind before I came over there. He was a good friend, good friend."
host was his cousin, former teammate, and good friend, Jamarca Sanford.
are almost like brothers. I have always looked up to Jamarca. He just showed me
around town so I could get familiar with everything. We looked around the education
center and then we went through what game day was all about."
USA Today All-American selection came away impressed with the simulation
for game day.
"I did not know it was like that. It was a great feeling.
I have never been that fired up before, and we were not even playing in a game.
I can not imagine what it is like when it is for real."
from the trip came when Coach Orgeron gave him a message.
I started this class because I was the first one that committed in '07. That made
me feel real good."
The players at Ole Miss were also a positive.
feel like I am already a part of the team. I feel like I fit in real good with
Strong had a chance to build a relationship with Joe McKnight
during the Army All-American game, but he left the recruiting part aside.
just talked. I told him that it is his choice, and he needs to go with his heart.
We were on the same team at the Army game. I just think we are real cool whether
he comes or not. He can help the team get better, and he knows that, but he has
to do what is best for Joe. We talk a lot on the phone now. We are going to be
brothers no matter what."
The 6' 3", 260 pounder watched film
with the LB group during the film session Saturday.
"I see it is at
a different speed. I have to get quicker. I need to work on my footwork and become
more powerful. I want to lose 30 pounds before I get there."
played the defensive end position at the Army All-American game, which was new
to him, but that did not seem to slow Scout.com's # 3 nationally rated
"It was fun playing end, but I like playing linebacker better.
We couldn't blitz at the game so we just rushed up the field. I can play anywhere
though, linebacker, defensive end, defensive tackle, fullback, it don't matter
What did Strong take away from the Army All-American experience?
it was a good experience. I had fun playing with the best players in the country
and showing them that Mississippi still has the talent to not only compete against
them, but to excel. I just did what I had to do to show them what South Panola
and Mississippi is all about."
Chris had a good one on one meeting
with Coach Orgeron before he left.
"It went really good, really good.
He just told me how proud of me he was for pulling my grades up to where I am
close to being a qualifier now. He told me to keep it up, and that I could always
remember being the one who got this class going by being the first one to commit."
has stayed rock solid with his commitment from day one and this visit did nothing
to change his status.
"This visit even made me feel more comfortable
about my commitment. The way they talked more about your education than football
really caught my attention. They want you to get your degree first, then football
comes second. I am just proud to be an Ole Miss Rebel."
Sr Season Clarksdale
Army All-American interview -
'I am proud to be an Ole Miss Rebel'
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