“He was a great kid, just made a bad choice,” said a current Missouri football player who asked to remain anonymous.
The player added that Green-Beckham is “a great steal for OU.”
If he can stay out of trouble and gain immediate eligibility, he’ll be an especially great steal for the Sooners. OU is pursuing an NCAA waiver that would allow Green-Beckham to play in 2014.
Oklahoma enters the season with national championship aspirations, but the wide receiver corps is one position group that is a concern. The Sooners lost Jalen Saunders, Lacoltan Bester and Jaz Reynolds to graduation, and junior Sterling Shepard is the only returner with any significant experience at this level.
Junior Durron Neal; sophomores Derrick Woods and Austin Bennett; and freshmen Jordan Smallwood, Dallis Todd and Michiah Quick figure to be Oklahoma’s best options at receiver outside of Shepard. All are talented, but lack much college football experience.
Green-Beckham’s baggage is obviously concerning, but this OU coaching staff isn’t careless. Plus, a decision like this would’ve had to involve Stoops’ bosses, including athletic director Joe Castiglione and probably even university President David Boren.
All those folks were clearly convinced Green-Beckham deserves a second chance and is capable of making the right decisions in the future. But at the end of the day, his freakish football skills are what ultimately made this a risk worth taking.