— Cody Schrader (@codyschrader_7) January 4, 2024
Schrader is projected to be a sixth-round pick by NFL Draft Buzz. The Missouri RB was not only one of the most productive players for the Tigers, but he was one of the most productive players in college football.
Many Tigers fans thought Schrader should’ve been in contention for the Heisman trophy. Schrader finished eighth in Heisman voting, and the only running back that finished higher than him was Oklahoma State Cowboys standout RB Ollie Gordon.
Last college game for this great Heisman finalist
— Joe (@jedigeki) December 30, 2023
Cody Schrader is my Heisman.
— Kenny Powers (@GoatedCardinals) December 30, 2023
MIZZOU RB Cody Schrader was my Number 1 candidate on my Heisman ballot. I’ve always been transparent about my voting. I watch ALL the games. Not just the “big” games.
— Lisa Horne (@LisaHorne) December 30, 2023
Schrader was also a consensus All-American in 2023. Schrader began his college career at Division II Truman State, and came to Missouri as a walk-on. Schrader took home the Burlsworth Trophy, which is given to the most outstanding college football player that started their career as a walk-on. Schrader was also a finalist for the Doak Walker Award, which is given to the best RB in the country.
Missouri Tigers running back Cody Schrader was one of the best RBs in the country
Schrader’s 1,627 yards rushing in 2023 was good enough for the third-highest mark in the nation. Schrader found the end zone as a rusher 14 times this season, which had him tied for 15th in the nation.
Schrader led the SEC in rushing by a wide margin. No SEC player came within 450 yards of his 2023 rushing total. Schrader’s name also went down in the SEC record books as the first player in the conference to ever rush for over 200 yards and have over 100 yards receiving in the same game.
Schrader accomplished this feat against the conference-opponent Tennessee Volunteers. It was just the 10th time an FBS player was able to do so.
The former walk-on has the highest average rushing yards per game out of all FBS ball carriers with 125.2. This is more than Gordon, who was not even the starter for Oklahoma State in the first three games of the season.
Schrader’s last game without over 100 yards on the ground came in mid-October. He did not eclipse the century-mark on the ground just four times this season.
Missouri Tigers running back Cody Schrader has a unique story
Despite playing the beginning of his career at Truman State, Schrader always knew he had the ability to compete at the highest level of college football.
In an article from ESPN, Schrader details what it was like watching football on television in which he knew he could participate.
“I didn’t pay attention to any of the big-time Division I football games just because I always saw myself being able to play at that level and play in the biggest games even if nobody else did,” Schrader told ESPN. “I was mad about it. I wouldn’t watch, couldn’t watch.”
Schrader’s coach at Truman State, Gregg Nesbitt, said he always saw the ability in Schrader.
“If you know Cody, I don’t think he’d change anything about the way his career has unfolded.” said Gregg Nesbitt, Schrader’s coach at Truman State. “The ability has been there all along, and then there’s the work ethic, which you can’t duplicate, and I’m not talking about [just] a great competitor, but an elite competitor. And for some guys at that level, there’s a sense of entitlement that might slip in. But not with Cody.
“He’s the same person now, as the SEC’s top running back, as he was when everybody missed on him coming out of high school.”
Schrader was not on draft radars before the 2023 season, but his remarkable year as a Tiger propelled him onto draft boards. Schrader had less than 200 yards receiving on the year, but his 116 yard receiving performance against Tennessee shows that he has the versatility to compete at the next level.