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Talented but troubled Sheldon Richardson declares for NFL draft

Georgia v Missouri Getty Images

Sheldon Richardson, a physically gifted defensive tackle who carries some off-field baggage and injury concerns, has declared his intention to leave Missouri early and enter the 2013 NFL draft.

The 6-foot-4, 295-pound Richardson definitely has NFL talent. He was a highly recruited prospect out of high school who had 18.5 tackles for loss in two seasons at Missouri, after starting his college career at the junior college level. But Richardson played through a shoulder injury in 2011 and had shoulder surgery early this year, which could raise a medical red flag, and he also was suspended for a game this season, reportedly for blowing off a team-issued punishment for skipping class. Richardson is also known for running his mouth, including saying before Missouri played Georgia that Georgia plays “old-man football.” (Georgia then beat Missouri 41-20.)

Missouri coach Gary Pinkel said he supports Richardson’s decision to turn pro.

“I’ve always said that when guys have opportunities like these, if they’re ready to go, then they should go,” Pinkel said. “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.”

Richardson will be one of the most intriguing defensive line prospects in this year’s draft.

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6 Responses to “Talented but troubled Sheldon Richardson declares for NFL draft”
  1. tebowsgonnagitya says: Nov 30, 2012 4:05 PM

    He has Jeff Fisher written all over him.

  2. cliverush says: Nov 30, 2012 5:06 PM

    Off field issues go hand in hand with schools that do not promote the academic side of attending college for student athletes.

  3. wludford says: Nov 30, 2012 5:07 PM

    Sounds like another Suh. Just what the league needs.

  4. stevenfbrackett says: Nov 30, 2012 8:11 PM

    If you read between the lines of the coach’s statement, what he is really saying is, “Go and good riddance. Be someone’s else’s problem.”

  5. richatthelake says: Dec 1, 2012 4:02 AM

    cliverush

    Check the graduation stats, Mizzou is in the top-2 in the SEC in athletes graduating, football, basketball, all sports. What an asinine comment.

    stevenfbracket

    BTW, Pinkel said the exact same thing when Jeremy Maclin left early.

  6. cherrybop says: Dec 1, 2012 6:33 AM

    That “old man football” line is a classic.

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