Missouri's Kony Ealy learns he's a cousin of Sheldon Richardson

Kony Ealy_130803_ToS

One thing NFL rookies learn at the NFL's Rookie Syposium is to watch out for distant relatives suddenly making their acquaintance -- and then looking for a handout.

However, former Missouri star defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson, the No. 13 overall pick of the New York Jets, can believe this one: Former teammate Kony Ealy discovered the two are cousins. The Kansas City Star reports that Ealy already has reached out to Richardson about the relationship. But as an NFL prospect himself, Ealy said he is working to make sure he never needs to lean on his millionaire cousin for anything:

"No, I'm not like that at all. Sheldon, he got a lot of attention drawn his way with a lot of different people coming his way, so like I said, I'd never ask anybody (for) that. I want to get my own."

And don't be surprised if he does.

Ealy (6-foot-5, 275) is expected to anchor the Tigers' defensive line this season, as Richardson did a year ago. The redshirt junior made 10 tackles for loss last season, which ranked third on the team, and has a lot of the athleticism that NFL clubs can't easily find among defensive line prospects. One area where Ealy could take a step forward would be to make bigger plays in bigger games: He recorded just one sack in SEC play (eight games), coming against Vanderbilt.

Believe it or not, it's not the first time two top-shelf college players have made a cousins discovery. Former Alabama teammates Dont'a Hightower and Mark Barron -- both 2012 first-round draft picks -- once stumbled into the same realization.

Follow Chase Goodbread on twitter @ChaseGoodbread

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