Strong charts his own path at Ole Miss 8/14/2015

Published 12:00 am Friday, August 14, 2015

Present at the Ole Miss media day last week from Panola County are (from left) Tony Conner, Isaac Gross and Temario Strong. The Panolian photo by Ike House

Strong charts his own path at Ole Miss

By Ike House
The last name Strong is a household name at South Panola and even at Ole Miss. Eddie Strong was a spectacular athlete at the University of Mississippi, but now his nephew Temario Strong is trying to establish his own path for the Rebels.

Strong was outstanding athlete for the Tigers in high school earning the title Dandy Dozen as a senior. He committed to Ole Miss during his junior year. When he arrived at Ole Miss he received a red shirt.

Coming into his junior year he has received most of his time on special teams but has still seen time at linebacker. He has earned two letters so far. His first was against Vanderbilt after receiving his first start at linebacker. His second one came after falling on a squib kick against UL-Lafayette to get his first career kick return.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

He has totaled 15 tackles and a tackle for loss in his two years. He also helped make school history with one of the longest kick returns in school history. Strong threw the key block to spring Jeff Scott on a 73 yard kick return against Texas.

“My goals for this year are to get on the field, call more plays to show coach that I’m capable of doing that, work harder and top everything I did last year,” Strong said.

Strong has been working this offseason to get stronger and faster. He said he wants to be a better player.

“Some of the other linebackers and I get together after practice and work on different drills,” Strong added “Sometimes Issac, Tony and I workout together, too.”

He added the team has been working in 7-on-7 a lot this summer and have been improving. Coach Freeze said that is one of his focuses since his receiving corps has not been performing up to standard.

As of now Strong is tied for the second spot at middle linebacker with senior Christian Russell.
“Coach said anything can happen and no one has a definite spot,” Strong said.

As far as the schedule goes, last year was a lot harder than this year will be, according to Strong. He also is striving for an undefeated season and a run in the college playoffs.

When asked about rival Mississippi State upcoming last year Strong said, “We not only represent for the state but the entire SEC.”

This will also be his final year playing with old high school teammates but also his family. Issac Gross, Tony Conner and Strong have  been playing organized football together since they were six years old. He said he can’t describe the feeling knowing that this season might be their last season playing together.

“I don’t know how to even answer that question,” Strong said.

Note: Features on Tony Conner and Isaac Gross will be published in the Preseason Pigskin Preview football magazine on Tuesday.