Big-time recruit arrives at MU and speaks

The near three-year saga of defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson and Missouri has seen plenty of suspense.

First, he committed to the Tigers as an ESPNU 150 recruit in 2009. Then, he didn't qualify, and Missouri's coaches helped him get into junior college in California.

Where, of course, he committed to USC and Monte Kiffin in hopes of heading to the NFL.

Missouri's coaches talked him out of that, and after signing his letter of intent in December as the nation's No. 3 overall junior college recruit, had yet to be officially cleared to practice at Missouri.

That changed on Wednesday, when the NCAA opened the gate for Richardson, who suited up for practice on Thursday and spoke with reporters after.

"We were just dotting all the I’s, crossing all the T’s and making sure when I’m here, I’m here to stay," Richardson told reporters. He later added: "I had a big head when I graduated high school, I went to juco and that leveled me out a bit. ... "If anyone tells you humble pies taste good, they’re lying to you."

For now, Missouri has two returning starters entrenched at defensive tackle: Dominique Hamilton and Terrell Resonno. For now, the athletic 6-foot-4, 310-pounder will have to earn his playing time like the rest of his teammates.

"He starts at the bottom, like Jeremy Maclin, everybody starts at the bottom,” Pinkel told reporters on Thursday. "There’s no prima donnas around here and he knows that."