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Missouri DT Sheldon Richardson: Texas High School Football "Overrated"

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One of the worst nightmares for every coach at any level in any sport is a player providing bulletin-board material for opponents heading into a big game.

And that's exactly what Missouri defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson did on Monday when he started flapping his big mouth about the state of high school football in Texas:

I hate people from Texas. I give people on our team from Texas a hard time because they're from Texas. I hate Texas. I just do. I hate Texas. Any other overrated state in football I pretty much hate. That's how I feel about it... Overrated. Overrated. Overrated. It's blown out of proportion. It really is. I played against their best recruits and I wasn't impressed, at all.

There's a variety of different levels to his comments other than the simple fact that Gary Pinkel should maybe avoid letting him have microphones stuck in his face for a while, not the least of which is the fact that many of Richardson's teammates are from Texas. Like his quarterback. And the running back who is currently averaging more than nine yards per carry. And the All-American tight end. And on and on.

Besides Richardson alienating a significant number of his teammates, Gary Pinkel has something of a public relations problem on his hands now as Missouri prepares to move to the SEC, a move that could threaten his ability to recruit in the state of Texas anyway.

If Pinkel didn't spend most of his day Monday after hearing of the comments calling high school coaches in the state to let them know that despite what his harebrained player might say, he still values the contributions that Texas players make to his program, which are significant and have been for years, well, then Pinkel is going to have some issues down the road. As in issues finding talented football players. You know, the type that come from Texas.

Regardless of what happens this weekend, Richardson just got a good taste on Saturday of what Texas football players are capable of doing when Baylor beat Missouri. Of course, maybe that was because all those Tigers from Texas were overrated. Yeah, that's probably it.

Then there is the whole issue of what happens this weekend. Set to face an already-hungry Texas team on Saturday, Richardson may have been best suited keeping his mouth shut, considering that he will have an opportunity to face some of those top recruits from the state of Texas that he was trashing on Monday.

Richardson will be engaged in some battles in the trenches against a Longhorn offensive line that has created some big holes in recent weeks, especially against a team like Kansas that certainly could use a few more players from Texas on its roster.

Richardson will be matching up at times with Mason Walters, the most evil of the Texas offensive linemen, as well as David Snow, the offensive line MVP for the last several weeks. Possible even Dom Espinosa, a player who cut his teeth in a physical run offense in high school, a physicality that has translated well to the college game. 

In other words, Richardson will get a first-hand look at just how overrated the best high school football players from the state of Texas really are. Players who will have all week to steam about having their native state denigrated and haven't exactly needed much extra motivation this season.

Sheldon Richardson just challenged a group of prideful players.

And Mack Brown's pre-game speech just got written for him.

Good luck with that, Sheldon. You just messed with Texas and it may not end well for you.