On top of everything else that makes the SEC so difficult to compete in, Missouri football has struggled to recruit as well as its peers in recent years.
Last year, Mizzou picked up a pair of four-star recruits but was ranked the No. 11 class in the conference. That was actually an improvement, breaking a five-year streak in which the Tigers finished 13th in the conference, a stretch in which they got four total four-star players.
With the commitment of five-star wide receiver Luther Burden, ranked on the 247Sports Composite as the No. 5 player in the class, second-best receiver and top player in Missouri, Mizzou is staring down its competition.
The Tigers have six four-star commits, as many as they had in the previous six years combined, and are getting contributors on both sides of the ball. With a quarterback, running back, two wide receivers and offensive lineman all ranked as four-star players or better, this may be the offensive foundation for the next three years. On the other side of the ball, a four-star safety and four-star defensive lineman join the group.
There is still much recruiting to be done, but Missouri’s class is ranked by 247Sports as the fifth-best class in the SEC and 14th in the nation, massive step-ups from years past.
Burden, who committed on Tuesday, makes plays on offense and special teams. In 13 games over this season and last, he has 81 receptions for 1,489 yards and 17 touchdowns, and has also returned kickoffs and punts this season. Just two days before his commitment, Burden caught two touchdown passes and returned a punt for another score.
He turns this class from a good group into a great one.