By John Shinn
CNHI News Service
NORMAN – Oklahoma signed former Missouri wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham several hours after he visited OU’s campus Thursday.
Per the school, the former five-star recruit will sit out this coming season and be eligible to play in 2015.
“We are pleased to welcome Dorial to the University of Oklahoma, where he is excited to continue his education and resume his playing career,” OU coach Bob Stoops said in a statement. “Dorial understands the privilege andresponsibilities of representing the Oklahoma Football program. He is a talented young man who is eager to get to work with the rest of our team in the classroom and on the field.”
The former five-star recruit arrived at the Switzer Center around 8:30 a.m. and spent three hours touring facilities and the campus. He was hosted by OU receivers coach Jay Norvell and recruiting coordinator Cale Gundy. Green-Beckham’s father and high school coach, John, and his brother Darnell accompanied them. Green-Beckham was the No. 1 wide receiver in the country coming out of Hillcrest High School in Springfield, Mo., in 2012.
OU was one of Green-Beckham’s finalists, but he ultimately stayed in-state and signed with the Tigers.
During his two seasons at Missouri, Green-Beckham lived up to the prep accolades. He had 87 receptions for 1,278 yards and 17 touchdowns over the course of his career at Missouri.
However, off-the-field troubles piled up during his time at Missouri and he was kicked out of school in April.
The final straw came when Green-Beckham was investigated for forcing his way into the apartment of his former girlfriend and allegedly pushing a woman down a flight of stairs at a Columbia, Mo., apartment complex on April 6. Local authorities closed the case when both women declined to press charges. Missouri still dismissed Green-Beckham from school five days later.
“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.”
It was his third brush with police in two years. Shortly after Missouri topped Oklahoma State in the Cotton Bowl to end the 2013 season, Green-Beckham was arrested in Springfield, Mo., along with two other men when a pound of marijuana was found in their car. No charges were filled.
The only time charges have been filed against Green-Beckham was in October 2012. He was charged with marijuana possession in Columbia and later pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count of trespassing after he a two teammates were caught smoking marijuana in a campus parking lot.
Green-Beckham served a one-game suspension after the incident.
The 6-foot-6, 225-pound wide receiver had to sign a financial aid agreement with OU in order to make the visit. It is currently a “dead” period in recruiting.
Per NCAA rules, potential transfers can talk with coaches during dead periods as long as they sign a non-binding financial aid agreement.
When asked if that was the case, Gundy replied, “He’s here isn’t he? We’re not that dumb.”
Green-Beckham will be eligible for the 2015 NFL Draft. In terms of talent, he’s arguably a first-round pick. The off-the-field issues, however, will weigh down his draft stock.The possibility is there that he could transfer to OU and turn pro before playing another down of college football.
Nonetheless, the huge recruit OU failed to land in 2012 finally arrived Thursday, and he’s toting a lot more baggage than his first visit.