East St. Louis (Ill.) sophomore running back recruit Natereace Strong (5-foot-11, 195 pounds) has been on recruiting radar screens since his freshman season. Strong has broken out in a big way this spring and talks recruiting here.
"I'm in the middle of track season right now," Strong said. "But I was able to go to the Rivals Camp at O'Fallon a few weeks ago and then I was at the NFTC in Chicago last weekend and they both went pretty well."
Strong already has four early offers and a ton of looks from several schools this spring.
"I have offers so far from Ohio State, Michigan State, Missouri and Kansas. Those coaches have all been in school this spring and I know that we have had a ton of other schools here so far. I got a handwritten letter today (Thursday) from UCLA and the coach from Missouri was also here today. If I had a dream school it would either be Alabama or Oregon. Oregon is a long way from home so I would have to really think about that one but it would also be great to get an offer from a school like them or Alabama someday."
Strong has yet to make any unofficial visits but that could change this summer.
"I was just talking to Coach Sunk (Darren Sunkett) about that today. I haven't been able to get out mainly because of track season but I'm going to see some schools in person this summer. I'm not sure just where I'll visit yet but I've also been talking to Terry (2015 standout DE prospect Terry Beckner Jr.) and we are both going to visit the same schools together this summer. I'm hoping we can get that all figured out soon."
Strong has no leaders but admitted a few schools are standing out right now.
"Ohio State has been really active and recruiting me pretty hard. I stay in touch with the coaches a lot and they really want me to come out and visit soon. Missouri is also really interested and I also stay in touch with the coaches quite a bit. I've been researching a few schools online so far and they all seem to have great facilities."
Strong, who missed several games last season because of injury is looking forward to what is shaping up to be a big 2013 season on the East Side.
"I missed a lot of the regular season last year but I came back and played towards the end of the year and in the playoffs. I can't wait to get back on the field and get after it. We talk all the time about the season and we are all working hard and staying focused. We have really started to come together as a team and as a family and I'm excited about our chances. We should be really good this year."
Strong also has a close relationship with former Flyer/Illinojs standout and current Pittsburgh Steeler draftee DB Terry Hawthorne. Hawthorne was also the 2008 EDGYTIM.com Defensive Player of the Year.
"Terry is my Godbrother and we talk all the time. When he was drafted it was big news and exciting news here in East St Louis. He's been such a positive role model for myself and really everyone on the East Side.The whole city and the entire school was really excited for him and he's one of our own who's making it. His advice to me about all of this is that it's my time now and to make the most of my chance and opportunity."
Natereace Strong has offers from Ohio State, Michigan State, Missouri and Kansas.