NORMAN — When wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham moves to Norman this week to begin working out with the Oklahoma football team, he’ll carry a lot more baggage than just what’s in his luggage.
Green-Beckham had three run-ins with police during his brief time at Missouri, which dismissed the troubled receiver in April. That combined with Bob Stoops’ reputation as a no-nonsense disciplinarian made the decision to add Green-Beckham a pretty surprising one.
Obviously, OU coaches believe that in a new environment, he can thrive and turn his life around. But did the decision ultimately come down to Green-Beckham’s tremendous — and rare — talent? You bet it did.
“People need to remember: We didn’t pull this kid out of the garbage dump,” said one OU source. “He could have went almost anywhere he wanted.
“The average person doesn’t understand he is a once-in-a-decade talent.”
Look at almost any NFL roster, and you’ll be hard-pressed to find a wide receiver with Green-Beckham’s size (6-foot-6, 225 pounds) and speed. He has been clocked running the 40-yard dash in 4.37 seconds.
In terms of talent, size and speed, Green-Beckham has drawn comparisons to Detroit Lions superstar Calvin Johnson.
He caught 87 passes for 1,278 yards and 17 touchdowns in two seasons at Missouri, and set the national high school record with 6,353 career receiving yards at Hillcrest High School in Springfield, Mo.
Green-Beckham was the nation’s No. 1 overall recruit in the class of 2012, and Oklahoma was in the hunt for him until the very end of the recruiting process.