Rivals250 running back Natereace Strong officially gave his commitment to Missouri head coach Gary Pinkel on Tuesday, but the decision of where to play his college ball was made much earlier.
"It was two months ago, it just clicked," Strong said. "I don't want to go anywhere far because I have family members who I want to come see me play."
Proximity was far from the only reason Strong, a four-star prospect out of East St. Louis (Ill.) High, decided Missouri was the place for him.
"They have a very nice campus," he said. "I like their coaching staff and the way they play physical football. I like the teammates and just the brotherhood. The coaching staff doesn't just bond with the players on the field, they bond with them off the field too and they worry about how the kids are doing in the classroom."
One of those who will be joining the Missouri "brotherhood," in a couple months is Strong's former teammate at East St. Louis, safety Greg Taylor. Hearing why he chose the Tigers gave Strong greater confidence in making the choice for himself.
"He talked to me about it and said that is a good school," Strong said. "They showed him love down there and said the coaches like me a lot and are always asking about me."
A 5-foot-11, 195-pound running back who placed second in the state 100-meter finals as a sophomore, Strong likes the fit for his game in the Missouri offense.
"Their offense is a good offense - they are powerful and physical," Strong said. "They put up numbers and I want to be in an offense that puts up numbers because that will help me get to the next level and that's where I want to be."
The addition of Strong gives Missouri two four-star prospects early in the 2015 class. That equals the total number of four-stars the Tigers signed in the entire 2014 class. [rl]