University of Missouri junior defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson has decided to forego his final year of collegiate eligibility, and will make himself available for the 2013 NFL Draft, to be held April 25-27.
Richardson had a breakout season for the Tigers in 2012, as he led all Southeastern Conference defensive tackles, and ranked second on the MU team overall, with 75 tackles. The St. Louis, Mo. native played in 11 games (starting all 11), and added 10.5 tackles for loss and 4.0 quarterback sacks this season, while also forcing three fumbles, recovering two, breaking up three passes, and blocking one kick.
For his Tiger career, Richardson saw action in 24 games (making 13 starts total), and made 112 tackles in all.
“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,” he said.
“I’ve always said that when guys have opportunities like these, if they’re ready to go, then they should go,” said MU 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,” Pinkel said.