Click Here to view this video.
East St. Louis (Ill.) running back Natereace Strong is the No. 212 ranked player in the country and holds offers from schools in four different conferences, but Missouri holds his attention for now.
"They are the No. 1 team right now," Strong said of Missouri. "Things have been going good with them so far. I like the coaching staff and how they respect me as a person and student-athlete. When I went down there it was a nice campus and I felt like I was at home, real comfortable."
Strong has kept in close contact with his area recruiter on the Missouri staff, Cornell Ford, and counts that relationship as one of the catalysts for Missouri's current standing.
"We talk to each other weekly," Strong said. "He is a good coach and he understands me as a person. When we talk we talk about a lot of stuff besides football. It's the same way with Coach [Gary] Pinkel. They are both good coaches."
The on-field aspects of Missouri's program have also caught Strong's attention, particularly what they did in the 2013 season.
"I like that they made it to the SEC Championship and it was a very close game," Strong said. "They have a good running game and a good running backs coach."
Strong last visited Missouri over the summer, but he plans to make a return trip soon with four-star teammate Terry Beckner Jr..
"I will be down there for one of their spring practices," he said. "We don't have a date for that yet."
Other schools that have offered Strong include Florida State, Illinois, Kansas, Michigan State and Ohio State. What happens during his up-coming Missouri visit could dictate whether those schools have a chance in this race.
"I would like to see how things go with Missouri, then I will look into the other schools," Strong said. "I will probably [commit] in the near future, probably the spring."
The 5-foot-11, 195-pound Strong is getting ready for track season, where he will look to claim the 100 meter state title he just missed out on as a sophomore when he placed second in the state meet.
Josh Helmholdt is the Midwest Region football recruiting analyst for Rivals.com. You can click here to follow him on Twitter.
Click Here to view this Link.