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Mizzou running back Strong suspended to start spring practice

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Arkansas Missouri Football

Missouri running back Nate Strong runs upfield during the second quarter of an NCAA college football game against Arkansas Friday, Nov. 25, 2016, in Columbia, Mo. (AP Photo/L.G. Patterson)

COLUMBIA, Mo. • Missouri running back and former East St. Louis High star Nate Strong has been suspended indefinitely due to a violation of team rules, Tigers coach Barry Odom announced at the conclusion of Tuesday's practice at Faurot Field.

"Regarding Nate, there are certain things we do in our program, some standards we have within our program, and right now he's suspended for breaking the team policy," Odom said. "I'll address it again when it needs to be addressed."

The depth chart released before today's first spring practice of the spring listed sophomore Damarea Crockett and senior Ish Witter as the starters at tailback. Strong appears next, in front of redshirt freshman Dawson Downing, freshman Isaiah Miller, redshirt freshman Myles Eaddy, redshirt freshman Jerney Jones and freshman Ezra Vaoifi.

Strong, a former four-star recruit who came to Mizzou from Hinds Community College, carried the ball 32 times for 137 yards and two touchdowns last season. After arriving to the team as a late academic qualifier, the 6-foot, 200-pound back saw his workload increase as the season progressed. He totaled a career-high 17 carries for a career-best 52 yards and scored two second-half touchdowns in the Tigers' season-ending comeback win over Arkansas on November 25.

"Everybody will be divided up on how many reps they get," Odom said when asked how Strong's suspension will affect depth at the position this spring. "If your number is called, it's time to step up and perform."

In other news, Odom confirmed redshirt freshman offensive lineman Darvis Holmes has left the team and plans to transfer.

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