Dorial Green-Beckham’s Road From Hillcrest To The NFL

London Hayes, Reporter

Have you ever wondered if there was some crazy star athlete that came from Hillcrest? There are a few people from Hillcrest who have gone pro, including three professional baseball players, George Frazier, Bob Detherage, and Keith Drumright. The most recent and arguably the most popular athlete to come from Hillcrest though, is Dorial Green-Beckham. 

Dorial went to Hillcrest High School all four years, and was at one point ranked the #1 football player in the country for the class of 2012. For reference of how good Dorial really was in high school, he is ranked as the eighth highest high school football prospect ever, one spot behind this year’s projected 1st overall pick in the NFL Draft, Trevor Lawrence. In his own draft class, he was ranked higher than current NFL Pro Bowl receivers Stefon Diggs and Amari Cooper, and drew comparisons to hall of fame receiver Calvin Johnson. So with all this you might be wondering; “why isn’t he in the NFL now?” But first, we’ll see how dominant he got to where he is now.

Promising Middle Schooler

Even as an 8th grader, people knew Dorial was going to be special. Current assistant football coach Lee Coleman didn’t coach Dorial while he was at Hillcrest, but says, “I heard stories about him. Evangel comes over to Reed [middle school] to do a little exhibition dunk show for an assembly, and the crowd starts chanting [Dorial’s] name cause they weren’t liking what they were seeing, and he gets out there and beats all these college kids, dunking in 8th grade.” Coach Coleman also recalls his cousin who was the football coach at Hillcrest going to Reed to work with Dorial, and hearing that “He’s already doing things that college receivers are doing…he’s gonna be a big deal.” Hearing stories like these it was evident that from a young age, Dorial was going to be a monster on the football field.

Unguardable On The Football Field

From the moment he stepped onto the field, Dorial was unstoppable. In his freshman year with the Varsity team, he racked up 801 yards on only 37 receptions, along with 13 touchdowns. Those numbers average out to around 22 yards per reception which is a ridiculous number. After his first full season on the Varsity squad as a sophomore, Dorial put up 1616 yards on 66 receptions, as well as 23 touchdowns.

Dorial’s Full High School Stats

Year Receptions Receiving Yards Touchdowns
2008 37 801 13
2009 66 1616 23
2010 78 1706 15
2011 87 1683 13
Total 268 5806 68


Dorial’s listed height and weight put him at 6’6” 220 lbs, which is more than enough size for a professional receiver. Many consider his frame accompanied by his 4.4 second 40 yard dash speed to be his best asset as a receiver. 

Justin Gerald, Hillcrest’s current head coach, was a defensive backs coach while Dorial was in high school had this to say about Dorial’s size; “On the football field if you’re 6’1”-6’2”, 190 or 180 [lbs.] you’re a good looking kid…but [Dorial] would dwarf those kids you know, and those are the kind of guys who had to guard him at times, and they also had guys that are smaller… a tall defensive back might be 5’11”, most of them are 5’8” you know. So Dorial being 6’4”, 6’5” at 220 [lbs.], it was fun to watch him…” 

Current baseball coach Ryan Schaffitzel had the opportunity to watch Dorial during his time here at Hillcrest, and said that the thing that stood out about him as an athlete was “everything.” Schaffitzel also added that he believes Dorial is “the best athlete that has ever gone to [Hillcrest], and probably the best athlete to ever come out of Springfield…the stuff he did, it was just so natural.” Coach Schaffitzel also mentioned that “[Dorial] went in the batting cage one day just for fun, and he probably could have been a pretty good baseball player. It just came so easy to him.”

Dorial’s frame as a receiver isn’t something that comes along very often. The tallest receiver in NFL history is Harold Carmichael at 6’8”, so Dorial isn’t that far off. Of course a comparison for Dorial was often Calvin Johnson who stands at 6’5” and weighed in at 237 lbs, but a more modern comparison would likely be Seattle Seahawks receiver D.K. Metcalf, who is 6’4” 224 lbs. 

Multi-Sport Athlete

Size wasn’t the only thing that stood out about Dorial. As mentioned earlier, he ran a 4.4 second 40 yard dash which is elite speed, especially considering how big Dorial is. Along with football, Dorial also ran track and played basketball. In his sophomore year running track, he claimed 1st place in the 100 meter dash (11.0 seconds), and triple jump (47 feet, 2 ½ inches). In that same year, Dorial led Hillcrest to their first state championship since 1984, and averaged 18.7 points and 8.4 rebounds per game. Current track and field coach John Dicks was a basketball coach at the time, and he says “[Dorial] was good at everything. It wasn’t just that he was a big kid or an athletic kid, he could shoot the ball very well…he was so quick [in the post] that as soon as he caught it, when he made his move you were playing catch-up as a defender.” 

Coach Dicks also adds, “Obviously his ability to run, jump, do things that you and I can’t do was also pretty beneficial as well.” It’s important to remember that football off-season takes place during basketball and track season, meaning that Dorial didn’t have a lot of time between sports, which shows just how truly gifted he was.


Dorial committed to the University of Missouri after receiving offers from the University of Alabama, Texas, Auburn, and Arkansas; however, this is where things began to go downhill for Dorial. Dorial posted 395 receiving yards on 28 receptions, along with 5 touchdowns in 11 games during his freshman season at Mizzou. His sophomore year showed improvement and flashes of what he had potential to be when he racked up 886 receiving yards on 59 receptions with 12 touchdowns. In 2014 though, Dorial was suspended indefinitely from the team after multiple charges involving marijuana and other charges

After suspension, Dorial joined the Oklahoma Sooners and was later drafted in the 2nd round of the NFL Draft by the Tennessee Titans despite not playing a game at Oklahoma.


Despite everything he’d been through, he had finally accomplished the ultimate goal of making it to the NFL. Dorial was drafted in the 2nd round by the Tennessee Titans, and in his first season he had 549 receiving yards on 32 receptions along with 4 touchdowns. After this season Dorial was traded to the Philadelphia Eagles where he put up 392 receiving yards on 36 receptions as well as 2 touchdowns. Sadly after only two years in the NFL, Dorial was released by the Eagles and hasn’t been on an NFL roster since, bringing an end to his football career.


Things didn’t work out for Dorial, but it is fun to think about how far he could’ve gone if he had made some different decisions. On accounts from coaches and people who watched him, it’s evident that Dorial was extremely gifted not only on the football field, but just as an athlete in general. It’s not often that you get to see the #1 football recruit in the nation in action at any school, let alone a small school like Hillcrest. 

Dorial’s time here provided for some great years in sports and some crazy moments including legendary Alabama football coach Nick Saban visiting Hillcrest, former Mizzou football coach Gary Pinkel landing a helicopter on the baseball field to come see one of Dorial’s games, and Hillcrest having a football game on ESPN. Dorial was a special talent for sure and it’s a shame that he never reached full potential, but his time at Hillcrest will always be remembered.