Patriots 2022 roster breakdown: Pierre Strong Jr. might be headed down a familiar path

With the offseason workout program in the rear-view mirror, the New England Patriots are already fully on to 2022.The team currently has 85 players under contract, but only 53 of them will be able to survive roster cutdowns in early September and ultimately make the active team. Over the course of spring and summer, just like we have in years past, we will take a look at the men fighting for those spots to find out who has the best chances of helping the Patriots build on their 10-7 record.Today, the series continues with rookie running back Pierre Strong.Hard factsName: Pierre Strong Jr.Position: Running backJersey number: TBD Opening day age: 23Size: 5-foot-11 Jonathan Jones Jersey, 205 poundsContract status: Unsigned draft pickExperienceWhat is his experience? Despite a productive high school career, Strong did not receive any significant college interest following his senior season. He entered the college ranks as a two-star recruit and received only a handful of FCS offers. He eventually decided to take his talents to South Dakota State, where he spent his freshman campaign as a redshirt. However, he became a prominent member of the Jackrabbits’ offense in Year 2 and went on to appear in 48 games with 34 starts over the next four seasons.In total, Strong touched the football 693 times along the way. He registered a combined 631 rushing attempts for 4, 527 yards as well as 40 touchdowns. He furthermore caught 62 passes for 581 yards and three more scores. On top of it all Ezekiel Elliott Jersey, Strong also had six passing touchdowns. A team captain in each of his last two seasons, he was recognized as an All-American in all four of his non-redshirt seasons and earned first-team All-MVFC honors each of his last three seasons in Brookings.What did his 2021 season look like? With Covid-19 disrupting operations all over the college football landscape, South Dakota State was forced to play its 2020 season between February and May 2021. As a result, Strong and the rest of the school’s returning players had to face a comparatively quick turnaround before their real 2021 campaign. Nonetheless, the redshirt senior was able to play some impressive football and deliver the best statistical season of his five-year career as a Jackrabbit.

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