DGB Signing Is More Than Meets The Eye

Posted: February 2, 2012 by The Cheap Seat Fan in NCAA
Tags: , , , ,

To call yesterday a big day for the Missouri Tigers would be a pretty good shot at redefining exactly what an understatement is all about. It seemed like the eyes of the entire Mizzou community from students, to alumni were all up a bit early and focused just south of Columbia to Springfield.

Wait, I think I failed to mention a few people that were also paying attention the same thing this morning….like THE WHOLE COUNTRY. Yeah, Mizzou was tied to the biggest sports story of the day, which was 6’6, 230 pound, number one high school football player in the country Dorial Green-Beckham making his long-awaited choice on what college he would be suiting up for. This is a guy who could easily be mistaken for a Power Rangers Zord or a Transformer that’s taken up football as a second career; he’s a beast and a legit big deal.

Green-Beckham pulling Mizzou into his spotlight was a status boost the program could get no other way.

But early in the day, the only people that could feel what the Mizzou community was feeling were the Arkansas Razorback faithful. A feeling of nervous hope, that many used forced indifference and/or resignation to grudgingly accepting defeat as a chaser for the stress with waiting on DGB’s decision. However, for the Mizzou faithful, those feelings were only short lived, because dreams came true and the biggest recruit in the state’s history decided to stay with the flagship program of his state.

Yes, the number one player in the country decided the Missouri Tigers were the place for him.

This is a huge deal; massive even. For all intensive purposes, Mizzou is still an up and coming program. While it is past the point of success on the field being a shock, there are still parts of the program that are placed at the will of more established programs. It is not a destination location annually for the top prospects on the various rankings boards that make up the year-long speculation and build up to day’s like yesterday. Every once in a while the school will land a guy in the upper tiers of these lists, but rarely has the program, despite being one of the most successful of the last 10 years, walked away from National Signing Day with one of the gems of the day. They just don’t have that type of name brand recognition.

Well, it’s time to use the past tense only, because Mizzou took yet another huge stride forward up the college football relevance scale yesterday. Signing DGB is more than just an obvious boost in talent. It’s a sign that Gary Pinkel’s program is legit and isn’t content just being a supporting actor, it’s about business. And the business of Mizzou football has never had higher stakes or more eyes on what it does. Moving to the SEC puts them on game’s grandest stage, which hasn’t come without a heavy amount of skepticism. There have been more than a few rumbles that not only are they not ready to compete on the field, but they aren’t up to the competitive culture of the conference either. Landing the crown jewel of all prospects turned many of those loud disapprovals into silent head nods of respect today.

Now it would be naïve to think this one signing lifts Mizzou to the level of Alabama or LSU, but making an impact of this sort is what separates teams from the pack of the rest of the teams looking to get to that same level. Seeing a player of Green-Beckham’s status sit in prime seating on ESPN and raise a black and gold Mizzou hat from underneath the table and pull the program into the national spotlight, that’s invaluable. Now there will be a constant eye on him, and therefore the Tigers. For recruiting efforts going forward, there’s both the drawing card of joining an elite talent, as well as the confidence from the recruiter knowing what they can do. And this is all before you get to obvious impact of having such a unique and dynamic talent to put on the field.

Mizzou changed it's entire culture in the face of landing DGB, a style it would do well to adapt full-time with the SEC looming.

Basically, the entire face of every level of the program changed, both today and for a lot of tomorrows. The power of perception is real, and when it becomes reality, that’s what really sets a program apart from the pack. Even a pack of animals as endlessly hungry as the SEC. The new tenants decided not to come in quietly and set up their space; they kicked the door in and brought the tequila with them with this one.

Never has the old “Mizzou on the Move” tagline ever seemed more appropriate.

 

 

Follow me on Twitter for more on basically anything that comes to mind that either doesn’t need a full blog or I don’t have time to write at @CheapSeatFan.

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Comments
  1. I just checked Rivals.com and they ranked Mizzou recruiting class at 12th in the SEC behind Vanderbilt. Vanderbilt a school that has the obvious restrictions due to grade requirements. I feel this as a slap in the face. 12th out of 14th.

    Where is the damn boxing

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