Hillcrest High School receiver Dorial Green-Beckham poses for pictures after announcing his decision to commit to the University of Missouri. (Photo: Kansas City Star)
SPRINGFIELD, Missouri – Dorial Green-Beckham, one of the most highly touted recruits in Missouri history, has decided to stay in state. Yes, Mizzou football coach Gary Pinkel landed arguably the biggest recruit in school history Wednesday morning when Green-Beckham announced his decision to commit to the University of Missouri-Columbia.
The 6-foot-6, 220-pound wide receiver, who tops the ESPNU 150 list for his position and is widely regarded as the top overall recruit in the nation, made his announcement during a nationally televised 9:15 celebration at Hillcrest High School.
“I have a very good relationship with the coaches, the players, the people, just the whole atmosphere has been outstanding for me to fulfill my dreams at the University of Missouri,” Green-Beckham said during a live interview with ESPN’s Rece Davis following his announcement.
Born in Saint Louis, Green-Beckham was adopted by the Beckham family of Springfield. While the University of Arkansas’s campus is located closer to his hometown, Columbia is a more centralized location for the Beckham family.
Dorial's father, John Beckham (R), said he was happy that his son will remain close to home. (Photo: Kansas City Star)
“Despite Dorial’s age…on a relationship level, we’re still a young family,” John Beckham, Dorial’s father said. “We need to, as a family, experience this with him.”
Wednesday’s announcement ended a four-year recruitment period that began when Green-Beckham received his first scholarship offer from Mizzou at the age of 15 and reached its pinnacle last weekend when the five-star recruit made his last official visit to the University of Missouri.
The Tiger faithful rolled out the red carpet for Green-Beckham, hanging banners around campus and even breaking out a “MIZ-DGB” cheer as soon as the high school senior walked onto the court at Mizzou Arena for the Tigers’ game versus Texas Tech.
In fact, there was even a “MIZ-DGB” banner hung at the Mizzou vs. Texas game in Austin on Monday.
“He didn’t pick the school that had the biggest stadium. He didn’t pick the school that had the most trophies in the trophy case. We’re just really happy in how he made the decision,” John Beckham said.
Green-Beckham racked up 119 catches for 2,233 yards and 24 touchdowns, en route to receiving the US Army Player of the Year, Gatorade Player of the Year, and Parade All-American Player of the Year Awards. He finished his four-year career at Hillcrest High School with 6,356 receiving yards, a national record.
Green-Beckham set the national mark for career-receiving yards with 6,356 over his four-years at Hillcrest High School. (Photo: STLToday)
The new Missouri commit also earned MVP honors on Hillcrest’s 2010 Class 5 state championship team, two individual titles in track and field (100-meter dash and triple jump), and a second place finish in the long jump. (Fun fact: Pinkel told Green-Beckham during the recruiting process that he could also play basketball at Mizzou.)
“Dorial Green-Beckham, just on pure athleticism alone, is too good to keep off the field,” ESPNU recruiting analyst Tom Luginbill said. “He’s also at a position who can make the easiest transition. The only question is whether he can get off press coverage. Some guys learn it and some guys don’t.”
For as excited as Mizzou fans are about today’s developments, I can’t imagine anyone is more excited than quarterback James Franklin and wide receiver TJ Moe.
For Franklin, the addition of Green-Beckham is comparable to Danario Alexander’s return for Blaine Gabbert’s sophomore season. Obviously, DGB appears to be much better than Alexander, but the basic concept is the same: the Missouri quarterback has a reliable top-of-the-line receiver to target downfield. MU’s re-styled offense should allow both Franklin and his newest target to both have epic seasons.
Moe has to be licking his chops as well. The wide out was the focus of many opposing defenses last season, but with Green-Beckham now in the fold, defensive coordinators will be forced to ease the pressure on Moe, focusing more of their energy on covering DGB.
The signing of DGB is monumental for Mizzou. On paper, it vaulted the Tigers’ 2012 class, which features one five-star, three four-star and 11 three-star recruits, into the national rankings at number 21.
More importantly, Green-Beckham’s commitment sends the message to the SEC that Pinkel is capable of sealing the Missouri borders. It is imperative for the Tigers to keep the five-star recruits in house as they move into the SEC and DGB is definitely a step in the right direction.
“It’s going to be a big impact for me to go out there to help Missouri [as they] join the SEC,” Green-Beckham said. “And to be able to go ahead and be one of the best players I can be out there for Missouri.”
While it his final decision basically came down to either Mizzou or Arkansas, Green-Beckham was also considering Alabama, Texas, and Oklahoma.
Quotes from: John Beckham via David Briggs (Columbia Daily Tribune), Tom Luginbill via USA Today, Dorial Green-Beckham via ESPN.com
High School Stats via: St. Louis Post Dispatch
KC Star Photos via: DGB Photo Gallery