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'Game Changer' Scouting Report: Mizzou WR Luther Burden

Luther Burden’s advanced skills will bring fireworks to the Missouri offense.
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If you want to be a true contender in today’s SEC Football, finding big-play wide receivers is a must. Look at how Alabama and LSU have gone from three yards and a cloud of dust to wide-open passing attacks. With Missouri signing the player detailed below, the Tigers have a very important player that provides a chance to move up the ladder in the SEC.

Luther Burden

Size: 6’0”, 200-pounds

Position: Wide Receiver

High School: East St. Louis (Ill.) High School


The Tigers won a national recruitment for Burden’s signature. Mizzou beat out Alabama, LSU, Georgia, Florida, Oklahoma, Iowa, Florida State, Oklahoma, Ohio State, Texas, Texas A&M and Oregon among others. Burden was ranked inside the national top five prospects by multiple scouting services.


Powerful upper body, especially for an incoming freshman wide receiver. Looks similar to a big safety that might transition to a hybrid-linebacker position. Similarly, extremely strong hands to catch the football through contact. Burden can add more weight, it’s just that he’s physically as close to ready for college football as one would see entering any college football program. While not the tallest receiver, Burden’s length surpasses his height. He will go up and grab a pass many other receivers his size simply cannot because they do not possess the same arm length as Burden.


Burden’s suddenness, especially for a 200-pound athlete, is eye-popping; it’s what makes him a big-time return man as he makes the first defender miss in tight quarters. From a size combined with change of direction standpoint, one could even make some physical comparisons to players like Chris Godwin (Tampa Bay Buccaneers) and Stefon Diggs (Buffalo Bills). He’s not at their physical level of fitness yet, but he certainly can be in due time.

The ability to reach top-end speed quickly is impressive, too. After the catch, Burden has the ability to break tackles and essentially become a running back with the football in his hands, overpowering some defenders with sheer strength.

Big Plays

There’s no question, Burden is an exciting play waiting to happen. A quick juke and he’s gone. A stiff arm and he’s headed down the sidelines. A burst of speed and he runs by a defensive back and catches the football for a touchdown. Bottom line, he’s making explosive plays and it should allow him to play very early for the Tigers, if not start at some point in 2022.


Many explosive athletes just run as fast as possible and do not possess the vision to know when to slow down and make a cut, or even wait for the block right in front of them to materialize. Despite Burden’s youth, he shows over and over that he’s willing to allow his blocks to happen before bursting through an opening.

This will help with screens in particular, and it’s also why he’s likely to be a return man for the Tigers. Natural vision like Burden’s lends itself to many different chances. He could even end up running Wildcat quarterback in short-yardage situations.

Position Impact

With his natural strength, speed, and change of direction capabilities, Burden will be able to play any of the primary wide receiver positions that a spread offense generally uses. He can play in the slot, boundary, or the receiver to the perimeter of the wide side of the field, in an effort to maximize his skills.

Moving a talented receiver like Burden to different positions, from play to play, keeps an opposing defensive coordinator guessing; it’s hard to double team the player that is not always in the same spot. Further, it allows Burden the ability to go against different defensive backs to help create one-on-one mismatches.

This is an area that Missouri Head Football Coach Eliah Drinkwitz can be creative. He’s an offensive-minded coach known for his offensive tactics to begin with, and Burden provides a unique tool for him to utilize.

Overall, he’s too good to stay on the sidelines for long. Burden provides a unique skill player that Missouri fans will likely soon see making big plays inside Memorial Stadium in Columbia, Mo.

You can follow Matt Galatzan on Twitter @MattGalatzan

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