Conflicting reports have emerged regarding the future of dismissed Missouri Tigers wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham.
Josh Newberg of 247Sports reported Tuesday that the former 5-star recruit and top overall prospect of the class of 2012 is seeking to continue his collegiate career by transferring to Eastern Illinois. Newberg also mentioned that ex-Kentucky quarterback Jalen Whitlow would likely join him:
However, Green-Beckham's father, John Beckham, has denied that his son is transferring, per the Columbia Daily Tribune's David Morrison:
Matt Wettersten of WCIA TV in Champaign, Ill., noted that Eastern Illinois Sports Information Director Rich Moser couldn't comment on the matter, since Green-Beckham hadn't been released from Missouri:
CampusInsiders.com's Rich Cirminiello provided his analysis on what this potential, or eventual, decision to transfer could mean for Green-Beckham's status in the 2015 NFL draft:
While Whitlow's move from Lexington was of his own volition after Wildcats coach Mark Stoops asked him to move to wide receiver, per Kyle Tucker of The Courier-Journal, Green-Beckham was forced off his team at Mizzou for disciplinary reasons and off-field issues.
An arrest on drug charges in January wasn't a good look for Green-Beckham, but what sealed his fate was forcing his way into an apartment to see his girlfriend earlier this month. The 18-year-old woman who encountered Green-Beckham, a friend of his girlfriend's, told police the 6'6" receiver pushed her down "at least four stairs," which led to his dismissal, per ESPN.com's Edward Aschoff.
Aschoff's report included a statement from Tigers head coach Gary Pinkel on the matter and how he felt it was best for all parties to move on:
This decision was made with the best interests of all involved in mind. Dorial's priority going forward needs to be focusing on getting the help he needs. As we have all along, we will continue to do everything we can to assist Dorial and his family. We care deeply about Dorial and his well-being, but hopefully he can benefit from a fresh start.
The dismissal cut short a promising start to Green-Beckham's time in Columbia, where he caught 59 passes for 883 yards and 12 touchdowns as a sophomore in 2013. Having just turned 21 years old, there is a lot of time for Green-Beckham to get his life and future on the gridiron back on track, but he does have to prove capable of staying out of trouble.
Given his exceptional speed and massive 6'6", 225-pound frame, there's no question that Green-Beckham has the potential to be an NFL receiver from a physical standpoint. Eastern Illinois—or another Football Championship Subdivision program—could be an invaluable stepping stone and the humbling experience Green-Beckham needs to mature, ensure that he plays right away and demonstrate his willingness to still work hard after his abrupt fall from grace.
The Panthers have produced the likes of Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo and, more recently, top 2014 NFL draft prospect in QB Jimmy Garoppolo. Thus, a link to Eastern Illinois makes sense for Green-Beckham if he wants to pursue the pros soon.
Given how well Green-Beckham played against SEC competition as he just began to ascend toward his ceiling this past season, he'd likely dominate the FCS—health and good behavior permitting.