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Sheldon Richardson leaving Mizzou after two years for NFL

Missouri v Kentucky AP

As far as announcements of these types that will come over the next month and a half or so, this one will stand as among the least surprising.

Missouri announced in a press release Friday afternoon that defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson has decided to forego his final season of collegiate eligibility and make himself available for the 2013 NFL draft.

“This has been my dream ever since I was a little kid,” said Richardson.  “It’s still not easy leaving Mizzou like this, but I know I’m ready.  I really appreciate all of the support I got here at Mizzou, and I know that they will help me and my family with this next step.  I’ll always be a Tiger.”

Originally a Mizzou-then-USC verbal commitment, Richardson flipped back to the Tigers in December of 2010 following two years at the JUCO level as he got his academic house in order.  Finally cleared by the NCAA in August of 2011, Richardson played 24 games the past two seasons, including starting all 11 games in which he played this season.

The one game he neither started nor played in was due to an academically-related suspension.

All told, Richardson was credited 18.5 tackles for loss and six sacks during his brief two years in Columbia.

“I’ve always said that when guys have opportunities like these, if they’re ready to go, then they should go,” said Mizzou Head Coach Gary Pinkel.  “I have no doubt that Sheldon is ready to play in the NFL, and while we’d love to have him for another year, the important thing is that this is the right decision.  It will be fun watching him play on Sundays.”

Based purely on talent, Richardson, who may be more well-known for his comments off the field than his play on it, is as near a lock for a first-round pick as one can get.

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10 Responses to “Sheldon Richardson leaving Mizzou after two years for NFL”
  1. tedstheman says: Nov 30, 2012 5:08 PM

    Mr. Taylor – I’m glad the scout in you can assure us that he is a 1st round pick. As if you know!
    Not saying that he is or he isn’t…just saying that you have no idea one way or the other, so don’t make such stupid comments

  2. houndofthebaskervols says: Nov 30, 2012 5:25 PM

    Yes, close friends and family in Columbia told me months ago that Richardson would declare for the draft, but of course I was not at liberty to speak of this situation. I’m going bowling with Mizzou’s president this weekend, we were in the Cub Scouts together. If there is any more to report, I shall at the appropriate time.

  3. dalucks says: Nov 30, 2012 6:48 PM

    How can Sheldon Richardson be a lock for the 1st round with his talent without much production but the Honey Badger is a 4th round pick? Marijuana cannot drop his stock that much. Sheldon Richardson might be the 2013 Dontari Poe. Richardson might be the bust of the draft.

  4. tillman78 says: Nov 30, 2012 7:00 PM

    Is this the guy who made the ‘old man football’ statement?

  5. londonps says: Nov 30, 2012 7:45 PM

    The honey badger is under sized and isn’t really that good as a coverage corner

  6. dinklespiel says: Nov 30, 2012 7:49 PM

    The Missouri Mouth has decided to go pro. Good, he sure didn’t live up to his Pre-season hype this year and will be a bench warmer in the pros.

  7. missouriman4ever says: Nov 30, 2012 7:54 PM

    For all the non Mizzou followers, this guy is a 1st round lock. His ability is through the roof. He was the one consistent thing Mizzou had all year. He was constantly in the backfield making plays. Against Alabama, he was the one bright spot all game. The UT game is where he stood out, against a good SEC offense he was making plays all over the field. Chasing down RB’s on screens, sniffing out draws, forcing fumbles, and constantly splitting the pocket in two. He kind of reminded me of Ndamukong Suh, not as good though but his strength and the push he gets off the line is very similar. I see a top ten pick in Richardson

  8. 6stn says: Nov 30, 2012 10:27 PM

    May as well go pro. Make all the money he possibly can. Be broke at 35. Too dumb to graduate college.

  9. richatthelake says: Dec 1, 2012 3:20 AM

    Didn’t live up to his preseason hype??????????Bust of the draft????? Dontari Poe??????? Maybe you ought to watch a few football games instead of spending all your time trying to create “clever” posts here. John Taylor is right about Richardson.

    Show me another DT playing as tough a schedule as Mizzou with 39 solo tackles, 36 assists, 10.5 for loss, 4 sacks, 7 QB hits, 3 passes knocked down, 3 forced fumbles & 2 fumble returns for 60-yards.

    He is a mid-first round pick.

  10. beedubyatoo says: Dec 1, 2012 2:35 PM

    Show me another DT playing as tough a schedule as Mizzou with 39 solo tackles, 36 assists, 10.5 for loss, 4 sacks, 7 QB hits, 3 passes knocked down, 3 forced fumbles & 2 fumble returns for 60-yards.
    J. J. Watt. And the Texans play a tougher schedule than Mizzou.

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