COMMENTARY | When Missouri Tigers head football coach Gary Pinkel reeled in the top recruit in the country, a 6-foot-6-inch wide receiver out of Springfield, Mo., by the name of Dorial Green-Beckham, Mizzou fans had visions of a stellar athlete hauling in touchdown passes from Day 1.
The kid they call "DGB" came to Columbia with hype, size and athleticism and as much promise as any recruit in the history of the Missouri football program.
Mizzou fans hoped Green-Beckham not only would haul in buckets of long touchdown passes, but they also hoped he could do more. Fans in Columbia felt that DGB could create a buzz around the program that could help draw the attention necessary for Missouri to become a perennial contender in the SEC. The type of buzz a serious Heisman Trophy award candidate brings.
As it turns out, it took Green-Beckham a bit longer to catch on. He is not quite ready to enter the conversation as one of the best players in the country, at least not in 2013. But if his performance in Mizzou's 48-17 dismantling of Kentucky is any evidence, DGB is starting to figure some things out and may eventually live up to those lofty expectations put upon him before he even set foot on campus.
Green-Beckham hauled in four touchdown passes in the win over Kentucky and was easily the most dominant player, athlete and presence on the field. Green-Beckham scored two touchdowns on fade patters while jumping over defenders. He scored another on a deep ball where he jumped over and through a defender while making a circus catch. He caught his last touchdown on a slant pattern.
Green-Beckham scored in every way possible, and looked unstoppable in doing so.
If Green-Beckham continues to progress at the rate he has of late, he could be among the best players in the country and on the Heisman radar in 2014.
Green-Beckham is already one of the most dangerous wide receivers in the country in 2013. His size is impossible for most teams to match up with. Plus, it is clear that Green-Beckham has some chemistry with redshirt freshman Maty Mauk.
Mauk, who is subbing in for injured senior quarterback James Franklin and also figures to return when Mizzou next plays against Ole Miss, made just his third start of his career against Kentucky. While Mauk figures to be headed back to the sidelines when Franklin is healthy, he will be the man in 2014. Mauk and DGB could flourish with a full season together and could be among the most lethal offensive combinations in college football next season.
Green-Beckham came to Mizzou heralded as the savior and as the man that can help Mizzou take that next step into the SEC not only as a competitive member of the conference, but as a legitimate contender each and every season.
Mizzou, with a 9-1 record and a top 10 ranking in the latest BCS standings, is certainly on the radar and has taken that next step. Now, so has Green-Beckham. He has shown that he is not far away from being able to lead the program as its face and the top offensive weapon and threat.
Green-Beckham is set to finish the 2013 strong and Mizzou looks poised to continue making noise in the SEC with Franklin returning.
But, in 2014, with Mauk throwing him the ball full-time, DGB should be considered a serious threat to contend for the Heisman Trophy.
Corey Rudd is owner/editor of StlSportsMinute.com and co-host of Fan Interference on CBS Sports 920 AM in St. Louis. Rudd writes about the St. Louis Cardinals , St. Louis Rams and Missouri Tigers football team as a contributor for Yahoo Sports. You can follow him on Twitter here.
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