Just before top wide receiver prospect Dorial Green-Beckham announced his decision to enroll at the University of Missouri on National Signing Day, the atmosphere at Hillcrest High School in Springfield, MO had reached fever pitch. The culmination of countless hours of recruiting and wooing rested solely in the hands of the local prodigy as he declared his decision between Oklahoma, Arkansas, Texas and Missouri. Power programs like Texas and Arkansas remained favorites to receive his promise up until the very end, but DGB wound up with a Missouri Tigers hat on his head and a billboard to celebrate the choice.
Bill Connelly of SB Nation attended the event at the Springfield Hillcrest gymnasium, and relived the spectacle, along with the decision, in a terrific piece that can be found here. DGB's small-town roots and strong connection to his adopted parents plays a central role in the story of how the unexpected marriage with Missouri came to be, and Connelly hits all the best moments of the day and the process. Perhaps he best sums up the joyous moment with the following conclusion to his article:
Recruiting is, at times, both ridiculous and redeeming. Dorial Green-Beckham's individual recruitment featured plenty of both adjectives. Coaches told on each other, while helicopters, boosters and free drinks got involved. But relationships, between an 18-year-old athletic marvel and his adopted parents, between a young man and his community, and between the same young man and a coaching staff that got to know him so well through the years, made his recruitment both unique and, yes, redeeming.
When DGB enrolls at Missouri next fall, he will face expectations steeper than anybody's in the country. As mentioned yesterday on Twitter, "all he has to do now is catch 185 for 2300 and cure cancer to live up to the hype!". But as he attempts to ingratiate himself further with a community he has already positively impacted, he will always have the home town, just under three hours away. They have given him away, but the small town never leaves you.
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