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Better late than never: Sheldon Richardson cleared for Mizzou

Sheldon Richardson

On National Signing Day in February of 2009, Sheldon Richardson signed a Letter of Intent to play football for the Missouri Tigers.  Now, exactly 918 days after that signing, the highly-touted defensive lineman will actually get to don the Mizzou uniform for the first time.

According to multiple media outlets, Richardson has been cleared academically by the NCAA and will practice with his Tiger teammates Thursday morning.  The lineman had been on campus for over a week awaiting the go-ahead from The Association.

The NCAA’s all-clear what’s been a two-and-a-half-year roller coaster ride for Richardson, the coaching staff and the program’s fans.  A native of St. Louis, Richardson, a five-star player and the No. 4 player in the country overall, had given a verbal commitment to Mizzou way back in 2007.  After signing with the Tigers in early 2009, he failed to qualify academically and was forced to go the JUCO route in California.

While Richardson maintained a commitment to his home-state school as he attempted to get his academic house in order, he did create a more-than-minor flap by flipping his verbal to USC in November of 2010.  A month later, however, he flipped back to the Tigers.

Now, with everything apparently in order, the question will begin to be answered: was the defensive tackle really worth all of the consternation, angst and hand-wringing?

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3 Responses to “Better late than never: Sheldon Richardson cleared for Mizzou”
  1. burntorangehorn says: Aug 11, 2011 9:56 AM

    Great job finally sealing the deal by Mizzou. I’ve seen reports both ways on whether he’ll have three years to use two seasons of eligibility or three to use three. Of course it might not matter, as he could be the next Nick Fairley or Da’Quan Bowers, and only play one season before going pro.

  2. John Taylor says: Aug 11, 2011 3:20 PM

    Hey burnt, got an answer from the school: right now, Richardson will have three years to play two. He could also try to get a medical hardship after his final year at Mizzou — he was hurt during his second year of JUCO — although I think we’d both be surprised if he stayed that long to choose that option.

  3. burntorangehorn says: Aug 12, 2011 10:42 AM

    Thanks for finding that out and reporting it, JT. I was thinking that they had denied his request for a medical redshirt for 2010, but that doesn’t close the door on a request for an additional year of eligibility if he plays the next two.

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