Missouri football recruiting: Will Luther Burden commit to Tigers?

Sep 26, 2020; Columbia, Missouri, USA; A general view of a Missouri Tigers logo on the scoreboard before the game against the Alabama Crimson Tide at Faurot Field at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 26, 2020; Columbia, Missouri, USA; A general view of a Missouri Tigers logo on the scoreboard before the game against the Alabama Crimson Tide at Faurot Field at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports /

Will the Missouri football team get a commitment from a talented wide receiver?

Missouri football fans enjoyed a bit of good recruiting news yesterday as five-star wide receiver prospect Luther Burden backed off his commitment to the Oklahoma Sooners. In a statement he posted to Twitter, Burden thanked the Sooners, but then announced his intent to decommit from Oklahoma.

Burden, who is the top-rated receiver in the class of 2022 from East St. Louis High School, had been committed to the Oklahoma Sooners for the past 10 months.

Up until yesterday, that is.

Since committing to Oklahoma, it’s been understood that Missouri football head coach Eliah Drinkwitz and the Tigers coaching staff would not be letting up on their pursuit of Burden. He’s remained their top target at receiver.

Burden had already visited Columbia several times since committing to Oklahoma including being in attendance for Mizzou’s annual 7-on-7 camps and open practices in the spring. That should’ve been an indicator all along that the race for Burden’s commitment was far from over.

Yesterday’s news was just the first domino.

Now with Burden officially back on the market, Missouri football fans are wondering if this is ultimately good news for the Tigers and if a commitment could be imminent.

Early on, it appears the top two teams to watch would be the Missouri Tigers and the Georgia Bulldogs according to an article from Bleacher Report. Both teams are still scheduled to receive visits from Burden and both teams were originally in his top schools list last year.

However, the Missouri football team would appear to have some significant momentum given the circumstances.

Missouri football: Can the Tigers get a commitment from Luther Burden?

First of all, it’s important to remember Burden’s visit to Missouri and the fact that East St. Louis, Illinois (Burden’s hometown) is just under two hours away from Columbia, Missouri. Proximity is often an important thing for the families of players.

It’s also important to note that Missouri’s recent success in recruiting St. Louis could go a long way in the Burden sweepstakes as well as their overall success in recruiting. Drinkwitz has been able to hit on several highly-ranked recruits, including guys like Ohio State transfer Mookie Cooper (who was originally from St. Louis) as well as freshman receiver Dominic Lovett (who grew up with Burden playing high school football in the area). The idea of teaming up with friends at Missouri has to be appealing to Burden.

The recent passing of NIL laws also comes into play, with players now being able to capitalize off their name, image, and likeness, different college locations offer different potential earning opportunities.

For someone like Burden, going to Mizzou and being the “hometown hero” of sorts would ideally line up a lot of NIL opportunities, as opposed to a place like Georgia where they consistently nab highly-rated recruits which makes it harder to get recognized.

Then there’s playing time.

Missouri has definitely improved the wide receiver position since Drinkwitz’s arrival, but there’s no doubt Burden would be the top guy the day he sets foot on campus. That may not be the case at Georgia. Playing time also directly affects NIL opportunities. The quicker you can get on the field and make an impact, the quicker you can make money.

Don’t just take the optimism from us, though, take it from Burden, who was very high on Mizzou when asked about what he likes about the the Tigers by Gabe DeArmond of Power Mizzou in June:

"“I love the staff. I feel like we’re all building a relationship. Those are good people. I like what they’re doing rebuilding the program.”"

It goes without saying that the commitment of Burden added to Missouri’s class would be impactful. Missouri’s class is currently ranked No.16 nationally according to 247sports.com, so adding a five-star recruit to that mix would be exceeding expectations.

Keep in mind Missouri’s highest-rated class in school history is 20th, which was set last year by Eli Drinkwitz.

Missouri football fans should feel pretty good about their chances with the five-star prospect. It’s not clear when Burden will announce his commitment, but it’s possible that it could come at any point. It almost feels like one could come sooner rather than later given the timing of Burden’s decommitment from Oklahoma.

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