In the world of college football recruiting, there is very little grey area.
The next great players are “program-changers” and “once-in-a-generation talents”. They’re never just guys who will contribute to the overall growth of a program and make a solid contribution– they’re the best thing since sliced bread.
The 2012 recruiting class’ can’t-miss prospect is Springfield, Missouri wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham. In the course of the next couple of days “DGB” will commit most likely to either the Missouri Tigers, Arkansas Razorbacks, or Texas Longhorns, and in the process convince that school’s fan base that a National Championship is all but imminent.
But is it?
Sure, at 6’6″, 230, with blazing speed and strength, Green-Beckham is the prototypical wide receiver, cut out of the same cloth as All-Pro wideouts like Randy Moss and Terrell Owens. Also, on the flip side, he is 18 years old.
To this point, DGB has show an uncanny ability to absorb and process the hype surrounding him, but is this a facade he has created to hide his frustration with the process? No one knows except for the young man and his family.
Green-Beckham was a man among boys at the high school level– he was simply more physically dominant than everyone he encountered and the average defensive back or linebacker didn’t stand a chance.
At the Division I level, many defensive backs will have the ability to at least slow Green-Beckham down, and force him to learn the intricacies of playing the wide receiver position.
I hate to disappoint anyone, but what if DGB turns out to be a flop?
Will we then re-evaluate the amount of hype– and pressure, at that– placed on the shoulders of one 18 year-old kid?
It’s doubtful. The recruiting system in college athletics feeds on hype and over-blown expectations, just as often eating it’s own as making them superstars.
We’ll find out a lot about Dorial Green-Beckham in the coming months as a decision is made and his glory days of high school dominance are left behind in Springfield.