COLUMBIA | Revealing his decision to leave Missouri for the NFL draft tugged at Jeremy Maclin's heart.
His voice caught. Tears brimmed in his dark brown eyes. Ultimately, the two-time All-American simply had to rush from the media conference rostrum, unable to continue.
"I'm leaving a family," Maclin managed. "This is where I belong."
On Tuesday, Maclin - a redshirt sophomore - received notice from the NFL evaluators projected him to go in the first round of the pro draft.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The Wichita Eagle
But by Friday, 10 minutes before he met the press at 11:05 a.m. in the Onofrio Room of the MU athletic training complex along Providence Road, Maclin's emotions pushed and pulled him as if he were a ping-pong ball and not simply the best all-purpose player in college football.
"I don’t know where I would be without these guys," Maclin said, ticking off the names of coaches and making eye contact with teammates in the audience, including Tommy Saunders and fellow All-American Chase Coffman.
"This decision hasn’t been easy for me."