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February 1, 2012
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. - John Beckham never envisioned it this way.
This was nothing quiet. No simple press release stating where his adopted son and best player, wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham, would attend college.
But when Green-Beckham ascended to the top of the Rivals.com rankings and etched his name in the national high school record book, there would be nothing calm about National Signing Day at Hillcrest High School in Springfield, Mo.
Although it was quiet, at least for a moment.
As the nation's top-ranked player moved his 6-foot-6 frame to the podium, the packed gymnasium wondered in unison which call he would make. With his teammates seated to his left, the school band to his right, his family around him and all of his classmates and friends looking on from the bleachers, the nation's No. 1 football player made his college announcement.
"I would like to thank everybody that made this day possible," said Green-Beckham, as he addressed the crowd of 1,600 or so. "Most importantly I would like to thank the Lord above and all of the teammates and coaches who have supported me.
"Now, I am pleased to announce that I will be continuing my education at the University of Missouri."
And with that, one of the nation's most interesting and close to the vest recruitments had come to an end.
After setting national records for receptions, yards and touchdowns during what will go down as a legendary high school career, Green-Beckham arrived at his decision on Monday after a weekend trip to Columbia for his official visit with the Tigers.
"I slept on it Monday and then I felt better about it the next day," Green-Beckham said. "I woke up (Tuesday) and told my parents that I wanted to go to Mizzou in the fall."
[ Related: PowerMizzou.com: Inside DGB's decision ]
While he said the Tigers' move to the SEC was a consideration, Green-Beckham and his father downplayed the role of conference affiliation. Father and son, coach and receiver, also stressed that the wideout could fit into any offense, spread or pro-style.
"He can fit in playing on the inside and the outside," the elder Beckham said. "Really wherever his team needs him to play, I think he can.
The 18-year-old son agreed with his father's assessment and added that he was looking forward to hooking up with the Tigers' current quarterback.
"I see myself as coming in there and being a part of the offense real well," said Green-Beckham. "James Franklin will have space to throw the ball and it will be good."
Over the past few weeks, speculation about where Green-Beckham would end up ran rampant. Most recently, talks revolved around Missouri and Arkansas but focused more on the opportunity to play for his home state in front of his friends and family.
"It's a big opportunity to be up there," said Green-Beckham of staying in state. "I have all of my friends and family and my mom and dad will be able to follow me where I go. It will be an opportunity for me to go and compete.
"Just to be home. Just to stay close to my friends and family and have people be able to come out and support me."
Moving forward, Green-Beckham talked about the need to stay humble and work hard to succeed in college. When asked about pursuing other sports, track appeared to be more of a possibility than basketball.
More than anything, the young star was glad to have ended the process. He enjoyed a day he'll remember for the rest of his life, made a pick that will keep him close to home and now he can focus on being a teenager again.
"It's a big relief," Green-Beckham said when reflecting on the process. "I'm real excited now to finish this whole recruiting process and go on with my life. I'm ready to go on with basketball, finishing my year and being with my friends."