Oklahoma Sooners head football coach Bob Stoops announced on Thursday that wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham, who was a top recruit at Mizzou in 2012 and was the Tigers’ leading receiver in 2013 before being kicked off the team in April, has committed to the Sooners and will be eligible for the 2015 season.
Green-Beckham, a 6-foot-6, 225-pounder who has drawn Calvin Johnson comparisons with his athleticism and aggressive style of play, had 59 catches for 883 yards and 12 touchdowns as a true sophomore in 2013. The issues which eventually led to his dismissal at Mizzou originally started in the middle of “DGB”‘s true freshman season, when he was arrested with several teammates for smoking marijuana in an on-campus parking lot. He was once again taken into custody on suspicion of drug possession in January of this year, though those charges were later dropped in what sounded like it might have been a case of a friend taking the fall.
The incident which forced his dismissal was a domestic dispute in April where Green-Beckham allegedly forced his way into a woman’s apartment and ended up shoving her down the stairs. At that point, he was suspended indefinitely and dismissed once the Tiger football staff had indisputable evidence of what he had done. Rumors were that he could end up enrolling at Eastern Illinois, a Football Championship Subdivision school, and be eligible to play in 2014, but that never ended up coming together.
Fox Sports’ Bruce Feldman is reporting that the Sooners will pursue an NCAA waiver to make Green-Beckham eligible for the 2014 season, presumably taking advantage of the NCAA’s “run-off” exception which prevents players from being punished for being removed from a team by order of the school. But these cases are generally based on performance, not discipline, so most college football experts are expressing doubt that DGB will be able to play this season.
Because of his size, athleticism, and 2013 production, the expectation has been that Green-Beckham will be a highly-regarded 2015 draft prospect and declare after the season. That may change, however, if Green-Beckham wants to play one more college season and can’t get onto the field this year. It wouldn’t seem to make much sense for him to take the risk of spending another year in college, but if he’s confident that he can rehabilitate his image and maintain his production with another season on the field at OU, he may be able to vault himself into top-five territory in the 2016 draft.