Junior update: Austin High WR Fred Strong

Another standout wide receiver to keep an eye on will be Austin High's <B>Fred Strong</B>. And he's not getting the publicity he probably deserves with regard to the rest of the state's deep crop of junior wideouts. That said, IT wanted to profile him and give the kid some much-deserved pub. Also will enjoy covering this kid throughout the off-season and, of course, the regular season because he's a pleasure to speak with.

Measurements: 6-2, 190 pounds, 4.4 forty, best time in 100 meters: 10.5.

Strength: 220 bench, 305 squat and 200 power clean.

(According to Strong, these were maxs done last September).

Career:

As a freshman, Fred Strong played both safety and wide receiver for the freshman football team.

Sophomore year, the Austin High bluechip cracked the varsity lineup grabbing 20 receptions for 630 yards, a ridiculous 31 yards-per-catch average and 5 TDs.

As a junior, he caught 34 passes for 770 yards and 8 TDs. That included his missing two games due to a shoulder injury. (Strong said his goal was to go over 1,000 yards receiving last year.)

This year?

"Coach plans on playing me at free safety and wide receiver, plus kick and punt returns," the soon to be very busy Strong said. "I feel like this is going to be my breakout year."

Full-time free safety position...

"It all started in the game against Akins," Strong told IT. "We (Austin High) were on offense and somehow the ball bounced off the helmet of our running back and the other team intercepted it. Anyway, the guy was making some moves and making some people miss as he was coming my way and I figured I better get to him pretty quick. And when we met, I laid him out [laughing]. When I got back to the bench, all of the coaches were screaming and yelling, 'You're playing defense next year, you're playing defense next year', so that's where it all started."

And as high school coaches look toward replacing talented seniors, kids like Strong find even more playing time. Of course, that particular play might not have been the sole reason Strong will find himself playing free safety, but it darn sure didn't hurt his chances to showcase more of his skills in the immediate future.

Don't forget about basketball either. As a junior, Strong averaged 11 points, 4.3 assists and 2 steals from the two-guard position. But don't count on him to be on the hardwood next season.

"Haven't really decided to play basketball next year," the Austin High Maroon told IT. "I've been talking to a lot of people about that, including my family. And we're talking about me only playing one sport. So, I don't know yet."

But he isn't giving up track, at least not this year.

"I run the second-leg on the sprint-relay and 100 meters," Strong said. "We took second in district and 4th in regionals in the 4x100. I got a 5th-place finish in district last year in the 100 meters because I slipped out of the blocks. I was hurt, I was really upset about that. I took second once in district with a 10.7, and now I'm running about a 10.5, so my goal is to win district and I think I can."

Accolades: 1st-team all-district and honorable mention on the super CenTex team.

Camps and Combines: Strong will be participating in a combine this Sunday and expects to make the Longhorn summer camp again, and maybe a few others. As for whether or not he'll attend the Nike Camp in College Station, Strong said, "Of course." (With 70 D-1 programs sending coaches, assistant coaches and recruiting coordinators to last year's Texas Nike camp, expect to see essentially the best collection of Texas prospects this year's one-day event alone, and Inside Texas will cover it like no other.)

Strong said he's receiving a lot of mail from the likes of Texas, OU, A&M, TCU and Oklahoma State.

"There's a lot more, but those are the main ones," Strong said.

Early top five: Texas, Oklahoma, TCU, A&M, Okie State.

Look for Strong's comments on each of the five in the next installment of IT's Inside Scoop! (This week's Inside Scoop also has more on Strong and is posted. Click here to view. This week's Scoop provides some early insight (from someone who certainly should know) into the battle for the starting QB job between Chance Mock and Vince Young and takes a look at one of the state's top high school QB prospects as well as a couple of the state's top wideouts, plus more on a couple of the high profile members of UT's Signing Day class, among other things. We'd love for you to join the 100s of other Orangebloods that have joined the Inside Texas family this year. For membership information, click here.)


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