COLUMBIA, Mo. – One of the Show-Me State’s rising college football stars made a nice first impression in his Mizzou Tigers debut Thursday night.

Freshman Luther Burden III, a heralded recruit and multi-sport star out of East St. Louis High School, picked up two touchdowns on 31 rushing yards and caught two receptions in his college debut. Behind Burden’s big moments, Mizzou cruised to a blowout 52-24 victory in its season opener against the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs.

“It felt great, being out here with my teammates,” said Burden on Thursday’s college debut. “We all compete for the same goal, so [after] competing with them and grinding with them all summer, it was fun tonight.”

Burden delivered on a few challenging plays, catching a swing pass from Mizzou quarterback Brady Cook before making one defender miss. He rolled past two defenders for his first score, then picked up his second touchdown on a direct snap.

“Luther made some big plays,” said Cook. “A lot of people touched the ball and made big plays, so that was exciting to see.”

Burden is one of the university’s top-rated recruits in recent years. Prior to his commitment, ESPN selected him as the top offensive recruit in the class of 2022 and the No. 5 overall recruit nationally. 247Sports ranked him as the No. 3 recruit in the nation, and Rivals.com ranked him at No. 4.

The East St. Louis alum earned dozens of college scholarship offers before ultimately committing to Mizzou last October. Burden is considered to be the third consensus five-star recruit signed by Missouri in the past two decades, joining Dorial Green-Beckham and Terry Beckner Jr. in that company.

Burden is also enjoying an endorsement from St. Louis-served chips Red Hot Riplets, marking one of Mizzou’s first endorsements since the NCAA adopted a name, image and likeness policy for college athletes.