2009 Commit Richardson Getting Major Interest

Gateway Tech (Mo.) junior Sheldon Richardson ended his recruitment before it ever started, committing to Missouri last summer as a rising junior, becoming MU's first and only known 2009 commit. Richardson has recently seen increased interest from schools like Notre Dame, Oklahoma and Tennessee. So it's not surprising to hear that MU's coaching staff was curious where his commitment stood.

Richardson, a 6-foot-4, 270-pound defensive end/tight end, was at the Nebraska-Mizzou game Saturday night and spent some quality time with the coaches, players and fellow recruits.

The coaches "were saying' "Sheldon, is it official? Is this where you want to be?'" Richard told InsideMizzou.com.

His answer: "Yes, this is where I want to be. I wouldn't want to be anywhere else."

That undoubtedly was music to their ears. Richardson has excellent agility and versatility for his size and will likely be regarded as at least a top-10 in-state prospect in 2009. As a sophomore, he had 70-plus tackles and eight sacks. This year he has 100 yards receiving and eight sacks to help Gateway to a 5-1 start, its only loss coming this weekend against Kirkwood.

He's notably quicker this season after losing 15 pounds thanks to exercise and dietary adjustments.

"A lot less trips to McDonalds," he said, laughing.

He picked Mizzou early because he felt at home there and because fellow St. Louisians Jeremy Maclin and Will Franklin told him about all of the positives associated with the school and program.

Mizzou's ultra-succesful start has only reinforced his decision.

"I guess you could say I invested in a good team," he said.

Richardson had a blast at the game and was taken aback by the frenzied atmosphere at Faurot. He didn't think it would overwhelm him to play in such an intense atmosphere, though.

"No, I think it would probably want to make you play more hard," he said.

He also has noticed a newfound enthusiasm for Mizzou in St. Louis, where the Tigers haven't had the best of luck in recruiting in recent years.

"They're saying Mizzou is on the rise," he said.

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