Not only is Schrader enjoying his experience, but he’s also putting opposing defenses to the test. The senior has racked up 508 rushing yards and five touchdowns while averaging 4.58 yards per carry despite playing behind a depleted and uninspiring offensive line. In fact, if not for the offensive line play which has accounted for an SEC-worst 14.58% negative play rate, Schrader would likely rank near the Top-10 in SEC rushers
Even with all of these challenges in both life and on the field, Schrader has continued to bet on himself. His work ethic, resiliency and continuous growth are factors that are beginning to shine through.
After being named the starting back against South Carolina, Schrader said “I just think it’s a huge honor... My mindset, the way I prepare and the way I go about it, doesn’t change no matter what the difference in roles are.”
His uptick in volume has been met with some resistance of late, as evidenced with comments made by Drinkwitz Tuesday, saying he felt Schrader carried too much of the workload against Kentucky— a game in which he rushed 21 times for 65 yards behind an injured offensive line.
Despite the comments though, Schrader will continue to serve as the workhorse running back while searching for his first 100-yard rushing game (He has four 70+ yard rushing games already). Matchups against Tennessee, New Mexico State and Arkansas will give him opportunities to showcase why fans should never count him out, but if there’s anything we’ve learned from Schrader’s journey, it’s that he will give his all to achieve whatever he puts his mind to.
On top of his journey to RB1, Mizzou fans learned that Schrader will be on scholarship beginning in January, an accomplishment for a player who many assumed would serve primarily as a special teams piece and the occasional running back at the start of spring camp. Instead, more than halfway through the season, Schrader is doing what he does best—proving doubters wrong.
The former Lancer and Bulldog has accumulated over 600 total yards on offense, scored five touchdowns and notched back-to-back games with over 20 carries. Facing SEC defenses for the first time, Schrader is making them pay, which will continue as far as his collegiate journey takes him.
Luckily for Mizzou fans, that will not be limited to this season. Schrader will have one year of eligibility remaining after this season, giving him an opportunity to build off his first season at Mizzou while continuing to play the game he loves.
“Football has always been my passion,” Schrader said following fall camp. “It’s just something I love to do. It’s something I’ve always worked very hard for, so going out there (and) giving the team every I got, putting the team first and trying to build that trust and respect is always something I’ve prided myself in.”
On the field, Schrader’s relationship with Cook and the offense looks like a seamless fit. The next step, however, will be to remain consistent in an attempt to solidify himself as Mizzou’s lead running back for the rest of his collegiate career, a position that’s been held by some prominent faces in Tiger football history.
When looking back at the recent Mizzou running backs of past—Tyler Badie, Larry Rountree III, Ish Witter and Russell Hansbrough—it’s evident that Schrader is jumping into a strong lineage of halfbacks to lead the Tigers. Even with these star-studded names though, Schrader will have an opportunity to build a legacy, which he accomplished at Lutheran South and Truman State as a Lancer and Bulldog, respectively.
This time, however, Schrader will look to do so...
...as a Missouri Tiger.