By RENALDO DORSETT
Tribune Sports Reporter
HEADING into his senior season with the University of Charleston Golden Eagles football programme, Mike Strachan looks to continue to rewrite the record books and boost his stock for the 2021 NFL Draft.
Strachan was featured by NFL Draft Blitz and the standout wide receiver detailed his offseason struggles as he continues.
“I have my brother here with me. We know some quarterbacks in the area. We work out together at a local field. We are working on the fundamentals. I am focusing on my hands and route running,” he said. “I am doing conditioning on my own.”
In his junior season, he was named an NCAA Division II Second Team All-American by the American Football Coaches Association. Following his breakout season, Strachan shared the all-time Charleston touchdown record of 27 with Joey Augustin.
The Grand Bahama native finished with 78 receptions for 1,319 yards and 19 touchdowns. He set new school records, led the Mountain East Conference in each category and was second in all of DII in both receiving yards and touchdowns.
His breakout season achieved Division II Top-10 marks for the 2019 season in receiving touchdowns (second), receiving yards (sixth), receptions (ninth), and receiving yards per game (fifth).
Strachan was also named All-Mountain East Conference First Team when the conference announced its annual awards and all-conference teams.
At 6’5” 225 pounds, Strachan has reportedly run a best time of 4.38 seconds in the 40-yard dash but continues to work toward his development for the upcoming season and beyond. “At the next level, you have to have two things. Route running and creating separation. If you can run routes very smoothly, you can be successful at the next level. I have been working on it this offseason,” he said. Currently a two-sport star for the Golden Eagles, Strachan also competes in the 400m and 200m.
The COVID-19 pandemic brought a premature end to the NCAA Indoor season. He had plans of representing the country one day on the track at the Olympics.
“It is my other main sport besides football. I participated in the 200 and 400 metres,” he said. “When I lived in the Bahamas, I had aspirations to run track professionally. I had a goal to compete in outdoor track this spring before everything shut down. I placed first in indoor track this past year. I wanted to participate in the 2020 Olympics. That was the goal. I wanted to run for my country. I feel like I would have done it, but we didn’t have an outdoor track season.”
Strachan caught touchdown passes in 10 of 11 games this season, including six multi touchdown games. He currently holds school records in receiving yards, breaking his own previous record of 1,007 set in 2018. His 19 receiving touchdowns broke the 70-year record of 13 held by Charlie Hubbard in 1950. His 78 receptions broke the record of 60 set by Terrance Spencer in 2006.
“I bring energy. I am confident and I am a positive example for everybody. I am a team player. I am willing to do whatever for the team and the coaches. I am a playmaker. They can come to me in any situation. I have the ability to make plays,” Strachan said. “There is definitely a lot of pressure playing the game. I embrace the pressure. Football is the greatest sport. It is the ultimate team sport.”
In addition to single-season records, Strachan broke the single-game records of: Receptions (13) – Set against Urbana on September 12 and also holds the second place spot of 12 receptions set a month later against Notre Dame College and receiving yards (207) also set on October 12 against Notre Dame College, breaking the previous record of 186 set in 2010 by Andre Higgins.
“Different schools were looking at me for football and track... I went to a few camps for football. Eastern Kentucky and East Carolina were looking at me. I went to a Miami camp, and they were impressed by me. JMU stopped by at my high school. Delaware was interested,” Strachan said.
“Coming from the Bahamas, the school system is different. I didn’t have the SAT or ACT. I took them pretty late in the process. I didn’t know much about it. There is a certain time period when you have to take those test scores between D-I and D-II. Charleston was patient with me. I took a visit and I liked it.”
He was a redshirt in his true freshman season and saw the first playing time of his collegiate career as a redshirt freshman when he finished with just one reception.
As a sophomore, he had a breakout season when he finished as the only player in the MEC to eclipse the 1,000-yard receiving mark.
On the season, he totalled 48 receptions for 1,007 yards and eight touchdowns. He led the conference in receiving yards, was third in both average yards per catch at 21 and average yards per game at 91.5. His touchdown total finished fourth.
Strachan has begun to generate buzz from the Division II level.
“My dad, Jerome Strachan, he played football at Bethune-Cookman under head coach Larry Little. He was part of the Dolphins team that went undefeated in the 70s. My dad learned a lot from him. He also played wide receiver in college,” Strachan said. “He taught me how to be tough. The major thing is having the mental toughness.”