#DLZou. It’s so simple yet so clever. It plays off the title “DL U,” otherwise known as “Defensive Line U,” a nickname given to the Missouri program for its propensity for producing NFL-caliber defensive linemen.

It incorporates the “Mizzou” name, and in a span of five letters gives the program a brand new identity that continues to make waves throughout the SEC less than four years since the Tigers joined the conference.

When the NFL Draft arrives in a few weeks, the Tigers will send two more defensive ends to the professional ranks: Shane Ray, an expected top 10 pick, and Markus Golden. Missouri did the same last season when Kony Ealy and Michael Sam were taken in the draft, and those two followed in the footsteps of past Missouri greats and current NFL stars Sheldon Richardson and Aldon Smith.

And that only dates back to 2011. Factor in five-star defensive end Terry Beckner’s decision to attend Missouri over a number of other more reputable schools, and it’s clear as day how the Tigers earned the “DL U” moniker.

But what does it mean? What does #DLZou actually represent for a program with two division titles in three SEC seasons but nowhere near the respect that achievement warrants?

The hashtag is more than just a clever Internet nickname. It serves as the true identity of Missouri’s football program, and as the cornerstone for what has allowed the Tigers to achieve such immediate success in one of the toughest conferences in the nation.

Smith, Ray, Golden and Sam were all three-star prospects coming out of high school. Now they’re all NFL talents (or soon-to-be NFL talents) and two of those players — Ray and Sam — claim the last two SEC Defensive Player of the Year awards.

Those examples serve as bragging rights for Missouri on the recruiting trail. As more and more Mizzou d-linemen advance to the NFL and out-perform their high school evaluations, other, more talented defensive linemen want a piece of the action. Defensive line coach Craig Kuligowski has been by Gary Pinkel’s side for more than 20 years now, and the consistency he brings to the staff ensures future recruits they’ll have a chance to follow the same path as Sam or Ray.

Take Beckner, for instance. Some of the biggest and best football programs in the nation sought out his services, but he opted to attend Missouri because he knew that’s where he’d get the best coaching within his position group. Missouri doesn’t have the facilities or the national attention that schools like Florida State, Ohio State or LSU, but it does have the #DLZou identity. That made all the difference in Beckner’s recruitment, and there will be more Beckner-esque players who follow the same logic in the coming years.

Missouri is now known for its defensive line prowess. The pressure the line provides up front has allowed Mizzou to boast one of the SEC’s best defenses for three years in a row, and that defensive excellence has won ballgames while compensating for some lackluster offensive performances.

So much of the Tigers’ success stems from its defensive line play, and now so much of its recruiting success is predicated on its ability to attract the nation’s best d-line prospects. The program is truly being built from the defensive line, which is why #DLZou is the perfect encapsulation of what Missouri is doing to build its program and how its been so successful as a newcomer in the SEC.

Beckner and Harold Brantley, a player some think may rival Robert Nkemdiche as the SEC’s best defensive tackle in 2015, will anchor the newest version of #DLZou this fall. And when their time comes to an end, there will be new talents ready to step in and maintain the continuity of the unit. There’s no reason to expect otherwise; this is what Missouri does.

That’s #DLZou, and until proven otherwise it is here to stay and wreak havoc in the SEC for years to come.