Mizzou freshman Dorial Green-Beckham's 80-yard touchdown reception on Saturday at Central Florida left MU coach Gary Pinkel with one overriding thought among others.
“I think it would be wise for us to get him the ball as much as we can,” he said with playful understatement during the Southeastern Conference weekly media teleconference on Wednesday.
Not that MU didn't already have some sense of that, and not that it hadn't tried some before.
For evidence that may yet be evident, consider the impression of DGB made in the north end zone hedges at South Carolina's Williams-Brice Stadium. After Tiger quarterback James Franklin tried to hit him with a lob that was broken up by S.C., Green-Beckham was disposed of in the bushes.
Still, the nation's top recruit had only 48 yards on six receptions through MU's first game before Saturday.
The emphasis figures to change as soon as this Saturday when Vanderbilt visits Faurot Field and all the more so as he gets more comfortable with MU's complex offense.
“I believe that's a glimpse of what we have here,” Pinkel said, noting his “remarkable” speed for his size (6-foot-6, 220 pounds). “He's the kind of guy who as he matures (will) be able to change the game any time he touches the football. I really believe that.”
So does DGB, which is both part of his promise and part of something he needs to work on.
Offensive coordinator David Yost said Monday that Green-Beckham so badly wants to make something happen with the ball that “he's a guy who starts to run sometimes before the catch” – meaning before securing the catch.
That happened earlier Saturday at Central Florida, and Green-Beckham might have had another big play if Franklin weren't off-target to him later.
Also on the teleconference, Pinkel was asked to look back nearly a year ago to what his chief concerns might have been as MU's move to the SEC became official on Nov. 6, 2011.
Item A, he reiterated, was Mizzou's commitment to do it right. He didn't want to just become part of the SEC, he added: “I want to be a player in this league … I want to be significant.”
MU's announcement of a $200 million facilities upgrade addressed Pinkel's sense of immediate need.
Meanwhile, he added, the response of MU fans also has reassured him. Faurot “rocks,” he said, “for lack of a better term.”
“I think our fans get it,” he said. “We're selling out almost every game; we've never done that before.”
In recruiting, he added, some of his concerns also have been alleviated by the sheer benefit of being part of a league that has produced the last six national champions.
“The SEC brand name that you're a part of is much bigger than I ever thought it would be,” he said.
The meaning of the brand will be on display this weekend with two meetings of top 10 teams: No. 4 LSU is at No. 10 Florida, and No. 5 Georgia is at No. 6 South Carolina.
Asked specifically about UGA at S.C., Pinkel said, “That's what (the SEC) is about … This is why the SEC is what it is … There's just a lot more good teams.”