For well over a month, and after flipping his original verbal, junior college standout Sheldon Richardson had been a “solid” verbal commitment for Lane Kiffin and USC.
Today, on national signing day for JUCO players, we learn exactly why the “non-binding” qualifier should be added anytime anyone discusses the verbal commitment of a player.
In a press release issued by the school this afternoon, Missouri announced the defensive lineman has signed a letter of intent and will play for the Tigers in 2011. Provided his academic house is in order, Richardson should enroll at Mizzou in January and participate in spring practice.
Richardson, who spent the past two seasons at the College of the Sequoias in Visalia, Calif., was rated as the No. 3 JUCO player in the country at any position by Rivals.com. The 6-4, 290-pounder was originally a member of Mizzou’s 2009 recruiting class and played in the U.S. Army All-American Game, but academic issues forced him to take the JUCO route.
In addition to Missouri and USC, other schools such as Auburn, Arkansas and Miami (Fla.) had also heavily recruited the lineman.
Richardson’s decision continued a rough last couple of days for the Trojans personnel-wise; Tuesday, it was reported that offensive tackle Tyron Smith and defensive tackle Jurrell Casey had decided to forego their final season of eligibility and make themselves available for the April NFL draft.