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November 11, 2010
Nearly three-and-a-half years after he originally committed to Missouri, it appears Sheldon Richardson is shutting the door on the Tigers. The former five-star prospect-now one of the most heavily pursued junior college prospects in the country-confirmed to PowerMizzou.com that he had committed to USC over the weekend.
"The relationship I feel with Mizzou, it will always be home. Hopefully I can keep my relationship with the coaches and it's still a great school," Richardson said. "But USC is where I need to be. That's just how I felt."
The major reason, Richardson said, was that he felt playing at Southern Cal was his fastest path to the NFL.
"Coach Orgeron is a dog in recruiting. He won't stop until he gets what he needs, what he wants," Richardson said. "I felt I was needed and wanted there, not that I wasn't at Mizozu, but he's all about business. The only talk was getting me to the NFL. That was the only talk.
"He knew my resume and showed me this is how it goes. He said, 'I put defensive linemen in the first round. Basically all my defensive linemen go first round and this is where you want to be. If you want to make the big bucks, this is the place to be and this is the coach to do it for. And Monte Kiffin is Monte Kiffin. He was a great coach in the NFL and then came down to the college ranks."
Richardson has flirted with many since committing to Missouri prior to his junior year at Gateway Tech High School. But this is the first time he has actually taken his name off the Tigers' commit list. His family has spoken since he originally signed of their desire for Sheldon to play at Mizzou. So is the family on board with the decision?
"Not at all. They're true Mizzou," Richardson said. "But my father wants me to make my own decisions. He told me I better be 100% sure. I said, 'Pops, you know I'm sure because I just decommitted from a school I've been committed to for about six years. I'm not playing."
Richarsdon told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch earlier in the day that he would likely still take visits to Cal, Miami and Arizona State. However, he wasn't sure about that by the time he spoke with PowerMizzou.com. It appears Richardson is headed to Southern Cal when he is eligible to sign in December.
At the time of this interview, Richardson had not yet spoken with the Missouri coaches about his decommitment.
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