Running back Natereace Strong spent time visiting with the Missouri Tigers on Tuesday. The 4-star East St. Louis High School (Ill.) standout decided it's the campus he'd like to call home in the coming years and committed, according to his team's Twitter account:
It's Official Nate has committed to Mizzou pic.twitter.com/48Nr9j1TTW— Esl FlyersFootball (@Football_Flyers) April 8, 2014
Strong, a 6'1", 210-pound junior, is the fourth 2015 pledge for head coach Gary Pinkel. He selected Missouri from an offer list that featured Florida State, Illinois, Michigan State and Ohio State.
The versatile rusher cited locker room camaraderie and program accountability as defining factors in his recruitment with the Tigers.
"The bond they have as a family, and the coaches who are honest and look after you as a son, and how the coaches check on you and make sure you are good in school and your personal life," Strong told 247Sports' Steve Wiltfong.
Strong, rated No. 19 nationally among running backs in 247Sports' composite rankings, is the third player to commit to Missouri at the position. He joins 4-star junior college prospect Chase Abbington and in-state recruit Ryan Williams in a Tigers class that also includes Kansas offensive lineman A.J. Harris, who committed last Tuesday.
With Strong, Missouri lands a playmaker who displays plenty of potential despite missing substantial snaps during his high school career.
"He's had a lot of injuries," East St. Louis assistant coach Harith Mitchom told Wiltfong. "He's more disappointed than anyone regarding those injuries."
As a result of the health setbacks, Strong has been limited to 1,033 yards and 11 touchdowns on 139 carries during the past two seasons. He'll aim to get back on track with a big senior year before heading off to Columbia.
Strong is a powerful strider who fits the mold of a slasher out of the backfield. He can create off one cut and possesses break-away speed that complements an impressive physical frame.
The Tigers have already acquired significant offensive talent during the early stages of this recruiting cycle. Strong is the latest addition to a suddenly crowded backfield outlook for the future.
Recruit information and statistics courtesy of 247Sports unless otherwise noted.