Larry Rountree III is now third on Mizzou’s all-time rushing list after running for 126 yards and 2 touchdowns in a win against Kentucky.
Larry Rountree III is putting together an All-American season this year and is carrying Mizzou’s offense. Rountree’s heroic efforts aren’t a surprise to Mizzou fans because Rountree has been a major staple in the program since his freshman year.
Larry Rountree III was apart of Barry Odom’s second recruiting class at Mizzou in 2017. Rountree, a running back from Raleigh, North Carolina, was rated the 1,024th overall player and the 56th best running back in the 2017 recruiting class.
Despite only being a three-star recruit, Rountree quickly found the field as a true freshman. The backfield for Mizzou was already loaded when Rountree was coming in. Ish Witter and Damarea Crockett were the two talented running backs ahead of Rountree in 2017.
Witter was the lead running back that year eclipsing 1,000 yards and Crockett was averaging a monster 6.0 yards per carry before suffering lingering injuries that limited him to six games in 2017.
Rountree stepped in for Crockett in the games that he didn’t play in and took full advantage of the opportunity. Rountree in his first year registered 126 rushes for 703 yards and 6 touchdowns.
It was clear after Rountree’s freshman year that Mizzou had one of the best one-two punches in Crockett and Rountree. Rountree took the mantel as the lead running back in 2018 and solidified himself as one of the best running backs in the SEC.
In his sophomore season, Rountree turned 225 rushing attempts into 1,216 yards and 11 touchdowns. Rountree established himself as a physical-downhill running back that it is hard to bring down on the first contact.
The 2018 season was exciting for Mizzou fans with the great play of Drew Lock and Larry Rountree. The offense was a must-see throughout the season, and the dynamic duo led Mizzou to a Liberty Bowl appearance against Oklahoma State.
In the Liberty Bowl, Rountree ran for 204 yards and a touchdown and terrorized Oklahoma State’s defense the entire game averaging 7.6 yards per attempt. Oklahoma State’s defenders struggled to bring down Rountree and started to shy away from tackling him as the game wore on.
There were massive expectations for Larry Rountree going into his junior season. Rountree had the most yards in two seasons for a Mizzou running back ever with 1,919 rushing yards. The second closest person on the list was Mizzou great, Tony Galbreath, at 1,647 rushing yards.
Going into his junior year Rountree was the clear #1 running back for the Tigers and was expected to be the focal point of the offense with Crockett and Lock both in the NFL. Lock was a huge loss for Mizzou’s offense, but the Tigers landed big-name transfer, Kelly Bryant in the offseason.
The Kelly Bryant experiment failed miserably for Mizzou last season and the entire offense took a step back. Rountree faced more defenders in the box regularly because of the lackluster passing game that Mizzou possessed. The offensive line play was terrible last year as well to make matters worse.
The numerous issues that Mizzou’s offense had last year resulted in Rountree’s worst year of his career at Mizzou. Rountree had 186 carries for 829 yards and 9 touchdowns last year. Those numbers aren’t terrible, but it was underwhelming because of what was expected out of Rountree and Mizzou going into the season.
It was evident that the season was wearing on Rountree as the season progressed. Rountree stopped speaking to the media after the Vanderbilt game, and for the first time in his junior year, Rountree didn’t start in a game against Georgia.
Despite not having the junior year that he expected, Rountree was never a distraction for the Tigers and continued to be a strong leader within the locker room.
Tyler Badie broke out last year for the Tigers at the running back position and started to take away some of the snaps from Rountree. Rountree was never seen pouting on the sideline and was always seen encouraging and celebrating big plays made by Badie.
Rountree was still able to do enough damage his junior year to set him up perfectly to move up the all-time rushing list for Mizzou. Going into his senior year Rountree only needed 450 yards rushing to be Mizzou’s rushing yards leader by a non-quarterback in program history.
Larry Rountree has exploded and reintroduced himself to the SEC and the rest of the country with his stellar play this season. Rountree already has 396 yards rushing and 3 touchdowns.
Rountree has been the focal point of the offense and has carried Mizzou’s offense when necessary. This past weekend against Kentucky, Rountree delivered a performance that was symbolic of his time at Mizzou.
Rountree carried the ball 37 times for 126 yards and 2 touchdowns in the win over Kentucky. The senior refused to go down and ran hard every single carry that he had. The effort from Rountree on Saturday is the effort that he has given Mizzou on every snap since the moment that he stepped foot on Faurot Field.
Larry Rountree is on pace to have one of the best seasons for a Mizzou running back ever. If Rountree stays healthy, he will safely be the 2nd all-time leading rusher in Mizzou history.
Rountree’s leadership and dedication to his craft make him even more special for the program. There has never been a report of Rountree doing anything wrong or embarrassing the program. Rountree has been a true leader on and off the field during his time at Mizzou.
Larry Rountree III is already one of the greatest running backs Mizzou has seen. He continues to build on his historic Mizzou career in an incredible senior year.
There could be an argument made that Rountree is the greatest running back Mizzou has ever had… but we will talk about that another day