Missouri DL Sheldon Richardson draws praise from all sides

Ed Zurga - Getty Images

Both James Franklin and Gary Pinkel know that Sheldon Richardson can single-handedly change a game.

Missouri's Sheldon Richardson is quite the popular fellow right now. The defensive lineman is having praise heaped upon him left and right, and for good reason. He has been nothing short of sensational this season and he has coaches from Missouri and Vanderbilt talking about him as the two teams get ready to square off this weekend.

"They are very active on their defensive line. Sheldon Richardson, their defensive tackle, is very active and athletic," said Vanderbilt head coach James Franklin. "I've known him for a long time, because when I was at a previous institution we recruited him, and he was a very good get for Missouri. He's proved his worth. He makes their defense go."

Unfortunately for Franklin, he has to figure out a way to neutralize Richardson this weekend. That isn't the case for Missouri head coach Gary PInkel, who gets to sit back and watch Richardson go.

"As I’ve said before in here, he’s very gifted. His movement for a guy that weighs 295 pounds and how he runs is really amazing. The great news is that he’s working really hard to be the best he can be," Pinkel said. "Before the game I saw him pull the whole defensive line together and he’s talking to them – leadership – it’s all really, really positive stuff. And I’m really proud of him as he’s grown in the program and it’s neat to see that."

Richardson has faced double teams all season and he has still registered 28 tackles, 13 assists, two sacks and a fumble recovery this season. He is a monster, and both coaches know it.

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