The “Show Me” state’s Missouri Tigers wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham, aka DGB, is on the verge of becoming one of the biggest busts in recent college football memory. The receiver was the No. 1 prospect coming out of high school in 2012.
He has the size (6-foot-6, 220 pounds), the speed (4.43 40-yard dash) and the ability to be the most prolific weapon in the country, even drawing comparisons to former Georgia Tech and current Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson. DGB has not even come close to fulfilling those projections as he heads into his sophomore season.
The Tigers shocked the nation when DGB decided to stay in state and sign with them. He was poised to out-do recent freshman wide receiver phenoms Julio Jones (Alabama Crimson Tide, currently with Atlanta Falcons) and AJ Green (Georgia Bulldogs, currently with Cincinnati Bengals). However, DGB was a huge disappointment when compared with these expectations.
These three current NFL wide receivers averaged 54 catches for 908 yards and six touchdowns during their freshman seasons. DGB, meanwhile, managed only 28 catches for 395 yards, but did snag five touchdown passes. If he is to become one of college football’s best wide receivers and live up to the high expectations of his abilities, DGB needs to have a monster year in order to avoid garnering the dreaded title of “bust”.
The same three pro wide receivers suffered what is referred to as “sophomore slumps” during their second college seasons, averaging 50 receptions for 764 yards and five scores between them. If DGB is able to capitalize on his physical attributes and have a fantastic sophomore season, he could easily out-do the players with which he is compared to during year two of their college careers.
His first task, though, needs to be becoming the best wide receiver on his own team. He ranked fourth on Missouri in both catches and receiving yards in 2012. A player cannot be one of the best in the country if he is not even the best at that position on his own team.
While some may argue that high expectations on a young player might be too much to handle, it has been shown that producing up to these expectations is exactly what sets great players apart from the really good ones. The pressure will be on DGB all season long to live up to his hype from last fall. This season could very well decide his fate in college football lore as either a “bust” or a “great”.