I can remember reading in ESPN Magazine in the summer of 2007 that some kid from the Public High School League had given Missouri a hot start to their 2009 recruiting class by committing to be a Tiger before his junior year had even started.
Well, that kid was Sheldon Richardson, and his recruitment ended up being one whale of a ride. After the five-star athlete committed to Missouri, things only got crazier for him. There were the offers from Florida, Oklahoma, Miami, and basically any other school that thought they had a shot.
There was the invitation to the U.S. Army All-American game, where Richardson destroyed nearly every offensive lineman that he went up against in one-on-one drills. His performance in that game enhanced his status to the No. 4 overall recruit in the 2009 class.
And then, much to the regret of Missouri fans, there was the drama. There were rumors of Richardson wavering on his commitment during the last half of 2008. Even after Richardson took his official visit to Mizzou in December 2008 and announced that he was "done with recruiting," one suitor would not give up.
The University of Miami was in the chase until the last minute with Richardson, and brought him to Florida for an official visit last weekend. But on signing day, Richardson announced that he was staying true to his hometown school, saying the state of Missouri loved him and he couldn't deny that.
Richardson is the highest-ranked recruit the Tigers have signed since recruiting services began. He could possibly play both ways in Columbia, sharing time at tight end and defensive end.