The dust has settled, and Dorial Green-Beckham has a new home. The former Missouri wide receiver is bound for Oklahoma, and as of now, he is slotted to be eligible in 2015. Green-Beckham was dismissed from Mizzou this spring after a string of troubling incidents, the latest a reported April altercation at an apartment complex involving Green-Beckham, his girlfriend and two other women.
Green-Beckham is certainly talented. That much is undeniable. He was the top-rated prospect in the recruiting class of 2012, according to Rivals.com, and he is a matchup nightmare for opposing secondaries. He stands at 6-foot-6 and 225 pounds, and he made 59 catches for 883 yards with 12 touchdowns last season.
From a strictly football perspective, it’s clear why Oklahoma would want to take a flier on him. The Sooners extended an offer to Green-Beckham in high school, and co-offensive coordinator Jay Norvell served as the school’s lead recruiter during that courtship. With the Big 12's plethora of explosive offenses, Oklahoma has to keep pace. The possibilities that come with adding an elite wideout to pair with quarterback Trevor Knight aren’t lost on coach Bob Stoops.
From a team chemistry standpoint, however, things start to get a bit murkier. Green-Beckham’s release from Missouri wasn’t the result of an isolated event; it was the final strike in an alarming pattern. He was suspended in 2012 following an arrest for marijuana possession, and he was involved in a police investigation in '14 after a pound of marijuana was found a Jeep in which he was a passenger. (Green-Beckham cooperated with police and was not arrested.)
Green-Beckham had a few options available. He could drop down a collegiate level and play in 2014. He could skip this season and prepare for the '15 NFL draft. Or he could sit out a year, work with a team and compete as a Division I player in the '15 campaign. It appears he has gone with the third choice.
Following his Mizzou suspension in April (before he was ultimately dismissed), Green-Beckham told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch he would enter counseling.
“First and most importantly, I take responsibility for my conduct and my mistakes,” Green-Beckham said at the time. “Don’t blame my girlfriend or her friends for anything. I am not looking for sympathy. I thank those who have given me concern. I have been young and dumb. I want to be better. During my suspension I’m entering counseling. With help, I know I can be stronger emotionally and spiritually. My relationship with God, my family, friends, teammates and coaches are most important in my life, not football. It may not be possible to fix everything, but it won’t be for not trying."
Missouri coach Gary Pinkel also mentioned Green-Beckham needing help and said the receiver could benefit “from a fresh start.” There is already speculation that Oklahoma will attempt to get Green-Beckham a waiver to play in 2014.
There is a shot that Dorial Green-Beckham could be eligible for an NCAA waiver to play this YR & I am told #OU will pursue that process.— Bruce Feldman (@BruceFeldmanCFB) July 3, 2014
If this is the fresh start Green-Beckham needs, the move could work. There will be plenty of questions and criticism, of course, but Oklahoma just landed one heck of a practice player.
“I appreciate this opportunity from coach Stoops and the University of Oklahoma,” Green-Beckham said in a statement. “There are people here who will help me build a strong foundation. I’ve disappointed myself and others in the past. I know that I have a lot of work to do and I’m ready to get started. OU is a great program and I feel privileged to be part of it. The university has made the expectations clear and I want to live up to them and be a positive part of the campus and team. I also want to thank coach Gary Pinkel and the University of Missouri.”