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Based on a number of the comments/opinions I’ve read here on the site in the days since TFB broke the news on the ‘DGB-to-OU’ talk, I expect what I’m about to say to be fairly unpopular. But if all of the stars were to align and somehow Dorial Green-Beckham found his way to Norman, I see it was a pretty low risk proposition from an Oklahoma standpoint.
Before I state my case as to why, let me qualify a couple things. First, I understand the stance some have taken in wanting no part of this to happen. Clearly Green-Beckham has been given multiple chances and by all accounts appears to have wasted each of them. I get the argument of some who have said they do not want OU giving him yet another one. I’m not saying you’re wrong. Those of you in that camp have a point, and it’s a valid one. Second –as we’ve said on here countless times already — even if this does eventually happen, as things stand today that is very, very far from being the case. So this could just as easily all be for naught. I’m NOT saying that it’s going to happen, or even that it should happen. You might say I’m simply attempting to play the role of devil’s advocate and present the flip side of things.
So if you’re left wondering why Oklahoma would even entertain the idea in the first place, then allow me to try and present that side of the argument.
You don’t need me to tell you Green-Beckham has NFL first round talent. And we all know guys with that kind of talent tend to get an additional chance or two (or four) that others probably wouldn’t get. This Oklahoma offense is relatively unproven in terms of the guys who are expected to man the outside receiver spots this coming season, so there is obviously a ‘need’ there from OU’s standpoint. Which I realize is a point some fans might try and argue, but it’s an argument I’d have a hard time taking seriously.
It’s also important to remember just how heavily this same OU offensive coaching staff pursued Green-Beckham during his recruitment back in 2012 (and prior to), and the relationship they developed with not only DGB but his family as well. If Bob Stoops and co. are considering this, as they are believed to be, one can safely presume they have done their homework. As hard as it may be for some to believe, they (the OU staff) know more about this situation than any of us do. They probably even know more than what you or I have read online or in the paper…..gasp!
Now, does that excuse the trouble Green-Beckham has found himself in and on multiple occasions? I’d say it certainly does not, but that’s also not for me to decide. If you want to second guess Stoops, I suppose you have every right to do so. Lord knows I’ve done more than my fair share of exactly that on Saturdays during the fall. That said, rarely have I found myself second guessing Stoops when it comes to judging a kid’s character. Which I’m sure will only invite whatever trolls may be lurking about to rattle off any and every name of a kid who got in trouble while at OU. I suppose have at it and enjoy missing the point entirely.
And while some would say it’s one of convenience, there is an argument to be made that a change of scenery and getting him away from the possible element so close to home that may have played a role in his off-the-field issues would play in OU’s favor as well. I can’t definitively say that would be the case, but one would think it certainly couldn’t hurt.
My point being with all of this that they aren’t going to just blindly bring this kid, no matter how talented, into the program without doing a considerable amount of legwork on his transgressions over the last couple years AND without having a plan in place for managing things when/if he did make it to Norman.
I mean, seriously, what is the downside here? Let’s say somehow both sides were able to make this work. I feel pretty confident in saying Bob Stoops has done more than enough during his time here to earn the benefit of the doubt. You know there would be multiple conversations having taken place making it abundantly clear there would be a zero tolerance policy in place should even the most minor of issues develop. There would be no “See, coach, what had happened was….” If Stoops is going to go to bat for this kid with Joe C. and/or David Boren, which one would presume he may have to do, he’s not going to waste that juice he’s established and built up with his superiors if he’s not confident they can keep Green-Beckham on the straight and narrow.
If he gets in trouble again, then he’s gone. No questions asked, goodbye. The kid obviously has a troubled past, but here is Oklahoma giving him one last opportunity (at the college level anyway) to redeem himself. If he blows yet another chance, why wouldn’t it look worse on him than it would OU? Would they take some heat for taking the chance in the first place? Probably. But pending whatever this theoritical transgression would be, the focus would almost assuredly be on the ‘what a waste of talent’ narrative then it would on the University of Oklahoma. Of course that’s an assumption on my part, and it’s clearly up to Stoops and whoever else to determine if it’s even a risk worth taking to begin with.
This is all also based on the presumption that he could somehow manage to get the necessary NCAA waiver allowing him to play at the D-I level in 2014, which one could easily say is unlikely to happen. And let’s say that is the case. Well, you could still bring him in and he’d effectively redshirt but still practice and workout. Personally, I think he’d leave after one year regardless so this “theory” is a speculative one at the very best and probably doesn’t make a tone of sense. But, again, where is the risk? Worst case scenario he screws up again and you boot him. Best case scenario you’ve helped a kid get back on the right track and potentially help repair his NFL Draft stock. And it would say a hell of a lot about Bob Stoops and his staff’s character to do something like that without reaping any of the on-field rewards if Green-Beckham did have to sit the year. I can already feel a number of you rolling your eyes at this whole thing, and I’ll openly admit it is pretty far-fetched. But I’m just throwing everything out there in attempting to look at this from all the angles.
I am absolutely convinced there are any number of people in the OU administration very worried about how something like this would play out (and/or already is) from a PR perspective. And I can all but guarantee you those same people and the OU coaching staff are not happy this got out before they were ready for it to. And that’s if it had got out at all. If they’d brought in DGB and/or his family, decided there was just no way it could work out and each go their separate ways, then it’s likely nobody outside of the program would have ever been all the wiser. We certainly wouldn’t have all the talk that is currently taking place or stories like the one I’ve just written. It would have probably been nothing more than an OU urban legend, a story many told but few believed.
Which, after all that I’ve written, is not to say this is something I necessarily believe Oklahoma should do and/or pursue. I’m simply saying if they choose to do so, it sure looks like a low risk/high reward type of situation to me from the outside looking in.
Everybody runs out of chances at some point. Maybe that statement applies to Dorial Green-Beckham, or maybe it doesn’t. Only time will tell whether or not he gets another, potentially in Norman, or whether this was just one of the most epic of epic offseason goose chases.