Sheldon Richardson #34 of the Missouri Tigers leads his team onto the field before their game against the Georgia Bulldogs at Memorial Stadium on September 8, 2012 in Columbia, Missouri. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)
St. Louis (KSDK) -- Mizzou defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson will enter the 2013 NFL Draft and forego his final years of college eligibility.
Richardson led all Southeastern Conference defensive tackles, and ranked second on the MU team overall, with 75 tackles.
The St. Louis native started all 11 games and had 10.5 tackles for loss and four quarterback sacks this season. He also forced three fumbles, recovering two, breaking up three passes and blocked a pick.
Sheldon is a graduate of Gateway Tech.
"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," he said.
"I've always said that when guys have opportunities like these, if they're ready to go, then they should go," said MU 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," Pinkel said.
MORE: Here's a look at Richardson's career statistics