College Football: Dorial Green-Beckham and Missouri Begin New Era

Tim Langevin@ELangetFeatured ColumnistAugust 30, 2012

February 01, 2012; Springfield, MO, USA; Hillcrest High School senior  Dorial Green-Beckham announces he's going to sign with Missouri University at Hillcrest High School. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-US PRESSWIRE

Dorial Green-Beckham, the man-child without boundaries, is the most prolific receiver in school-boy history with 6,356 yards and 75 TDs.

It didn't take but 18 seconds for WR Green-Beckham to albatross above the radar. On August 29, 2008, in his first game on the first play from scrimmage, the precocious freshman snagged a 66-yard TD pass from QB Michael Jenkins. Hillcrest (Springfield, Missouri) defeated West Plains 49-33.

Hello, world!

Since then, Green-Beckham, adopted by his high school coach John Beckham 16 months later, became one of the most sought-after recruits in recent memory. And on national signing day (Feb.1, 2012), the 5-star recruit announced his commitment to the University of Missouri Tigers.

Head coach Gary Pinkel, the third winningest coach in Missouri history, had reason to wag his tail. The 60-year-old has built a previously downtrodden program into one of the more successful in the nation. And the 2012 Class of 19 players, headlined with Green-Beckham, has the Mizzou faithful screaming with optimism.

But that optimism could quickly fade to sarcasm once the Tigers face a gauntlet SEC schedule that includes Georgia (Sept. 8), South Carolina (Sept. 22), Alabama (Oct. 13) and Florida (Nov. 3).

Pinkel told ESPN on the College Football Spring Blitz edition, "We had a great recruiting class...The enthusiasm is positive, at an all-time high...Now we have to go out and earn that respect and prove ourselves."

The 19-year-old freshman will get that chance Saturday when Missouri hosts SE Louisiana in the season opener.

The depth chart, recently updated Aug. 27, has Green-Beckham at No. 2 behind junior Eric Waters (6' 4", 235 pounds) at the Y/TE position. Which means he will see some reps. 

The Missouri spread is a comfortable fit for DGB. He can play multiple positions within varying packages. For instance, he can play the slot, tight end, receiver or H-back (TE lined up in the backfield who can go in motion to block or catch a pass).

Regardless, Pinkel isn't saying much.

What is there to hide?

The kid is 6'6" and weighs 220 pounds. He has a 4.43 40-dash time, benches 295 pounds and can squat 385. He was a three-sport stud athlete in high school where he scored 2,092 career points in basketball and captured state track titles in the 100-meter and long jump. 

In video study, talk about "WOW" factor. DGB has deep-threat capability, a red-zone presence and is not afraid to make the tough catches over the middle. He is a huge target with speed and athleticism.

Can you say, "sudden impact?"


James Franklin has to be a happy camper. He is the starting quarterback and last season, he passed for 2,865 yards and ran for 981 yards with 36 total TDs. Look for those passing numbers to increase with the addition of Green-Beckham.

The big No.15 made a 65-yard catch and run in the final scrimmage. Perhaps, a glimpse of what the Mizzou fans hope is yet to come.

Week 2 Missouri starts its first season in the truculent SEC with a taste of Georgia. And QB James Franklin and WR Dorial Green-Beckham should add plenty of flavor as a new era begins.