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.
Premium content for only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
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."