Fact or Fiction: Missouri should feel optimistic about Luther Burden
Rivals national recruiting director Adam Gorney and national recruiting analyst Sam Spiegelman along with Gabe DeArmond from PowerMizzou.com and Christian Clemente of AuburnSports.com tackle three topics and determine whether they believe each statement is FACT or FICTION.
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1. Texas A&M will flip five-star OL Kelvin Banks from Oregon.
Gorney’s take: FICTION. When Kelvin Banks was about to make his commitment, it felt like a battle between Texas and Texas A&M and then Oregon came in and swiped the five-star away. That sometimes leads to decommitments down the road because of a snap decision and because the Aggies and Longhorns are not giving up in recruiting him. But the Ducks have developed offensive linemen really well over the last many years. Mario Cristobal has that program humming and even though A&M and others will try, I don’t see Banks flipping at this point.
Spiegelman’s take: FICTION. It’s certainly in the realm of possibility and after knocking off top-ranked Alabama, the Aggies have a ton of momentum they’re hopeful will translate to the recruiting trail. Texas A&M, Texas and LSU were all contenders for the five-star tackle when he pledged to the Ducks in surprising fashion over the summer. While I fully expect A&M to continue to press for Banks until he signs, I still like where Oregon currently stands.
2. Missouri should feel optimistic that it will land five-star WR Luther Burden.
Gorney’s take: FACT. There is this idea that because Luther Burden is taking his last visit to Georgia that the Bulldogs are the clear front-runner but I can give numerous examples of players who took their final trip somewhere and ended up somewhere else. Sure, the Bulldogs are strong in his recruitment and Georgia could definitely land the five-star receiver but Missouri is right there, too. One person told me it’s a “toss up” right now and I believe it. Burden loves the idea of playing close to home and he really respects Missouri coach Eli Drinkwitz. The Tigers are definitely in this one.
DeArmond’s take: FACT. There's concern out there among Missouri fans because the team is struggling and because he is taking an official visit to Georgia this week. But the visit has been scheduled for months and nobody expected Missouri and Georgia to be equals on the field this season anyway. In other words, what has really changed since he decommitted from Oklahoma and nearly everyone immediately said Missouri was believed to be the favorite? Basically nothing. This is no guarantee that he's going to commit to Mizzou next week, but if you felt optimistic about the chances two months ago, there's not much reason to feel less optimistic today.
3. After driving from Indiana all the way to Auburn, the Tigers could land the commitment of 2023 four-star LB Drayk Bowen.
Gorney’s take: FICTION. Does Auburn still have an outside chance since Drayk Bowen took the time to visit for a big game weekend and has the Tigers in his top five? Absolutely. But Notre Dame might be so far ahead here that it would be a complete shocker if the Merrillville (Ind.) Andrean four-star linebacker ended up outside of South Bend. Bowen is definitely doing his due diligence and has taken road trips over the last few weeks to Clemson and Auburn, but I still think Notre Dame is way ahead here.
Clemente’s take: FACT. Bowen was on campus for the big rivalry game this weekend. The two-sport athlete met with the football staff and also with Butch Thompson and the baseball crew. Playing baseball in college is a must for Bowen and I think that bodes well for Auburn. Bowen has a top five of LSU, Clemson, Auburn, Notre Dame and Indiana, but Auburn feels it’s down to an Auburn-Notre Dame battle. It’s still early on his recruitment, but Auburn is a big factor and right up near the top for him.