Want to attack every day with the latest Georgia football recruiting info? That’s the Intel. This entry drops the knowledge on why Luther Burden III chose to commit to Missouri.
Luther Burden III has decided not to become a Georgia Bulldog. He chose to stay home and commit to Missouri on Tuesday evening.
That’s the decision he shared with the world today from a live streaming ceremony at the Herbert Hoover Boys and Girls Club in St. Louis.
“It was real hard,” Burden said at the event. “I enjoyed Georgia a lot. It was a family decision and I am happy with where I am at.”
He said he knew he was going to choose Missouri when he left the campus after his unofficial visit two weekends ago for the North Texas game.
“It just felt like I needed to be there,” he said. “I needed to make a change in my home state.”
He said that he was 100 percent committed to Missouri at the ceremony.
“Missouri is where I want to be,” he said. “I’m locked in.”
Check out a couple of Burden’s senior highlight reels below.
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Luther Burden III: Missouri gets a beast in Burden
Burden is an all-around All-American for his East St. Louis Flyers.
He will kickoff and punt for his team this season. That is along with being an electric punt returner and a playmaker at the “X” receiver spot. At least one local St. Louis sportscaster has begun to call him “Touchdown Luther” and with good reason.
According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, he has now caught 163 passes for 3,561 yards and scored 54 touchdowns. He has also returned five of his 11 punt returns for touchdowns in 2021.
The 5-star WR transferred to play for the 9-time Illinois state champions because of two things. He wanted to be able to graduate early and enroll with his new team in January of 2020.
Burden also said he wanted to face better competition each day in practice and also during the season. His Flyers have lost just seven games dating back to the 2016 season.
His team has already traveled to California to face St. John Bosco this year. Burden had a show-stopper of a game almost singlehandedly bringing East St. Louis back from a 21-0 halftime deficit.
That lead grew to 35-0 when he really caught fire. He caught a 30-yard touchdown pass and then added a 65-yard punt return for a touchdown. He made play after play to finish with 11 catches for 159 yards in an eventual 42-26 defeat.
What goes beyond the 5-star stuff with Luther Burden
Burden committed at the Herbert Hoover Boys and Girls Club. It made sense. That’s where one of the key mentors in his life spotted him at an early age.
Anthony Blue was a longtime local recreation league football coach. He coached the Herbert Hoover Eagles. Those teams were dominating and cast a large shadow over the field they played.
Nobody ran on Blue’s Eagles. Much less scored on Blue’s boys. Until Burden did. Twice.
“It set a bomb off in my mind,” Blue said. “It was like he is going to be playing for me. I’m getting him.”
He was both furious and fascinated. It wasn’t long before he had him playing for his Eagles. Burden’s father, Luther Burden Jr., was a great basketball player for St. Louis University. He had a tremendous mid-range jumper and came close to making the NBA with the Indiana Pacers.
His father had a 36-point game in college and averaged 20 points per game for the Billikens in one season.
“You should pull up this kid’s film in basketball,” Blue said. “Nobody could stop him from getting to the basket. Not a single soul. This boy was one jump shot away from being one-and-done and going to the NBA. That’s how good he is. We always had him in two sports to teach him the right elite hand-eye coordination and also the right amount of footwork to be as good as he is. That comes from playing both sports.”
“Luther can stop on a dime and change direction on you so fast it will just blow your mind. He can stop on a dime and change direction on a football field and on the basketball court.”
It was like father, like son. But he has chosen in a new sport.
“It was indescribable how many touchdowns he scored for me from Little League football to when he was 13,” Blue said. “Shoot. Well over 100. I mean well over 100.”
That mentorship was a key role. Burden has explained to DawgNation that his life up to this point growing up in one of the most dangerous cities in America has not been easy.
“He came into my life like as another father figure to me,” Burden said while describing Blue’s role in his upbringing. “He kept me off the streets. Kept me always active in sports.”
Burden said he has seen four friends that were in his circle lose their lives to the violence in the streets where he lives. Why does he play football? He wants to turn his receiver routes into escape routes.
“Being in St. Louis and being in the environment that I come from well, there isn’t anything there but death,” Burden said. “Yeah. Basically, just death.”
He wanted to put up all those statistics so he didn’t become one.
“It really gets bad at night,” Burden III said. “But it is really bad all over. During the daytime. There is so much hate out here. You don’t know. You can not even be in a situation or an escalated situation and you could still be hit by a bullet in the crossfire or something.”
“That’s just how bad it is.”
The All-American receiver has three pieces of body art on his upper body. When asked to describe them, the first one that came to mind was a script with the words “Child of God” on his left foreman. He
“I’m just letting everybody know that God and I have got a relationship,” Burden said, while noting that he prays before every game.
There is another that serves as a tribute to St. Louis. Despite all the tragedy, he still reps his city. There is another across his left bicep.
“The week will not survive,” Burden said while describing it. “That is just motivation.”
Blue knows the realities of their community all too well.
“If you look at that kid’s eyes when you watch him play sports, you will see he’s running from something,” Blue said. “If you can get a chance to get a camera to look in that boy’s eyes when he runs that football, he’s really running from something. You can see the fear. You can see the fear in his eyes. You can really see it.”
When he goes off to school, then he can just play. There’s no telling how many plays he will make then.
“I want him to make it,” Blue said. “I want him to help his family and I want him to be able to enjoy it while he is doing all of that, too. Without feeling that he owes people anything. That is my dream for Luther with football and the game. Enjoy life. Use his talent and get paid for it.”
There are a lot of people in his community rooting for it. Blue says that Burden will not forget that.
“I really can see him coming back and trying to help out the community,” Blue said. “Being a spokesman in the community. I can see him then coming back one day and trying to help these other kids. That is something that I know he will do. I will be pushing that as well.”
Burden and his Flyers will take on IMG Academy on Friday at Jackson State University in Mississippi.
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