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It's official: Dorial Green-Beckham is a Missouri Tiger. And …well, that just about sums it up. Mizzou beat out Arkansas, Oklahoma and Texas for a 6-foot-6 freak of nature they hope will live up to the hype. Have a nice day.
For recruitniks who have obsessed over DGB's final destination for the last two years, of course, it's a slightly bigger deal than that. But by any prevailing standard, the courtship of the most sought-after player in the 2012 recruiting class was refreshingly anticlimactic. Unlike Jimmy Clausen, Green-Beckham didn't use his announcement as an excuse to stage a nauseatingly suggestive takeover of a shrine to other people's greatness. He held it at his high school. He didn't show up in a limo. Unlike the last four players in Green-Beckhma's position — Terrelle Pryor, Bryce Brown, Seantrel Henderson and Jadeveon Clowney — he didn't leave schools twisting for weeks beyond signing day to escalate the drama. Unlike Henderson and Clowney, there are no lingering questions about his grades. He didn't have some hanger-on operating as a "family spokesman." He didn't do some stupid fake-out with a baseball cap.
In general, Green-Beckham went about the process the way you're pretty certain you would have gone about it, if you were an oversized 18-year-old who had been relentlessly schmoozed by the media and a parade of millionaire head coaches since shortly after you hit puberty instead of, you know, you. There was no sense that he felt entitled to the spotlight thrust upon him, or even that he enjoyed it; for the most part, he seemed to tolerate it, at best. Maybe that has something to do with his hard-luck background and subsequent adoption by his high school coach, one more reason to root for his success rather than a heavy dose of hubris.
None of which guarantees him anything from this point forward, although top-ranked prospects have a pretty good track record over the last decade: Since Rivals started keeping track in 2002, seven of the ten players who began their careers as the No. 1 overall recruit in their respective classes were drafted, four of them in the first round, and six of them (all but Derrick Williams, No. 1 overall in 2005) are currently on NFL rosters. The two most recent members of the club, defensive ends Ronald Powell and Jadeveon Clowney, are both well on their way after promising starts at Florida and South Carolina. Unqualified bust Bryce Brown is the glaring exception, albeit one an awful lot of people now claim they saw coming after his turbulent path to Tennessee in 2009. Green-Beckham gives off none of those warning signs.
Still, there's no accounting for the future. At Missouri, DGB will almost instantly become the face of the program during its transition to the SEC, the hometown hero who spurned the usual heavy hitters to take the Tigers to the next level. He's the most touted player in school history. No one on the current depth chart is going to keep him waiting for his opportunity. Now, it's just a matter of seizing it.