October 27, 2012; Columbia, MO, USA; Missouri Tigers defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson (34) and running back Jared McGriff-Culver (38) prepare to enter the field with their teammates before kickoff at Faurot Field. The Missouri Tigers defeated the Kentucky Wildcats 33-10. Mandatory Credit: Dak Dillon-USA TODAY Sports

Missouri Tigers’ Sheldon Richardson Decides To Go Pro

Missouri Tigers defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson has become one of the first underclassmen to announce his intentions to enter 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.”

Richardson was haunted with academic issues during his college career that forced him to transfer to the JUCO level for two years, but he was a standout player in Missouri once his academic problems were sorted out.

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

Richardson is expected to be selected in the first-round of April’s draft.

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