HS Football Luther Burden III

All eyes are on East St. Louis receiver Luther Burden III as the 2021 prep football season begins on Friday, Aug. 27. Burden is also undecided where he will play college football after decommitting from SEC-bound Oklahoma.


Prep Football Preview

East St. Louis’ visit to CBC on Friday night, Aug. 27 will highlight the area prep football’s kickoff weekend. Many of the area’s top programs will square off and see where they stack up among the elite in St. Louis.

East St. Louis at CBC (7 p.m. Friday): These two powerhouse programs will meet for the first time since 2017, when they staged a classic game in East St. Louis.  The game is already sold out.

East St. Louis is loaded with talent and nationally ranked, while CBC will again be a contender for the Missouri’s Class 6 title. 

East Side features five-star wide receiver Luther Burden III, sophomore quarterback Robert Battle and outstanding lineman Myles McVay. Burden recently made news by de-committing from Oklahoma. Several programs, including Missouri, are eagerly awaiting his new commitment. McVay, a 6’7” 345-pound junior, is rated among the best linemen in the country in the Class of 2023.

CBC returns plenty of talented players led by senior quarterback Patrick Heitert.

Edwardsville at DeSmet (7 p.m. Friday): The host Spartans are coming off back-to-back appearances in the Class 6 Show-Me Bowl, while Edwardsville is traditionally one of the top programs in the Metro East area.

MICDS at SLUH (6 p.m. Friday): MICDS appeared in the Class 4 state championship game, while host SLUH is expecting a big year. The Junior Bills’ Division I prospects include seniors Chris Brooks (a Yale commitment) and Isaac Patterson.

MICDS has a potent offense led by senior quarterback Regan Andrew and juniors Steve Hall and Winston Moore.

Lutheran North at St. Mary’s (6 p.m. Friday): Host St. Mary’s features plenty of speed and one of the area’s most electrifying performers in senior Kevin Coleman. Coleman excels as a wide receiver, ball carrier and kick returner. He’s the No. 1 rated prospect in Missouri.

Lutheran North has been among the area’s top small-school programs for many years.

Battle at Fort Zumwalt North (7 p.m. Friday): These two excellent Class 5 programs have staged some tremendous opening-season contests to open the season. Both teams can put a lot of points on the board.

Earl Austin Jr. talks sports. Period. Produced by James LeBine. The St. Louis American.

Other players to watch

Jaylin Carson (Lutheran North) – A senior running back who rushed for 420 yards and seven touchdowns as a junior.

Kaian Roberts-Day (Festus): A 6’3” 255-pound tight end who has committed to Baylor. He’s the top prospect in Jefferson County.

Cameron Epps (Chaminade): A talented 6’3” 215-pound defensive back who has committed to Oklahoma State.

Tyson Ford (John Burroughs): A standout 6’6” 270-pound senior defensive end who has committed to Notre Dame.

Marquis Gracial (St. Charles): A 6’5” 295-pound senior defensive tackle who has committed to the University of Missouri.

Arlen Harris Jr. (Lutheran-St. Charles): A talented senior running back who has committed to Stanford. He has scored 71 touchdowns in his first three varsity seasons.

Mac Markway (DeSmet): A top-flight junior tight end prospect who has committed to Florida. He also excels as a defensive end.

Toriano Pride (East St. Louis): A talented cornerback who transferred to East Side from Lutheran North. A top prospect who has committed to national power Clemson.

Kaleb Purdy (DeSmet): A talented senior defensive back who has committed to Kansas.

Jared Rhodes (Ladue): A 5’11” 190-pound senior running back who scored eight touchdowns last season. He’s a big-play performer.

Isaac Thompson (SLUH): A senior defensive back who returns to action after missing most of junior season with an injury. He has committed to Missouri.

Ja’Marion Wayne (Parkway West): A talented 6’4” athlete who has committed to the University of Missouri. He has been a standout since his freshman year.

Caldra Williford (Lutheran North): A senior defensive back who returns as one of the leaders of the Crusaders’ stout defense.

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