Husker blue-chip QB may not get to Lincoln


Nebraska's 2011 recruiting class already has two of the nation's top quarterbacks, Jamal Turner and Bubba Starling. They may stage a high-profile quarterback battle (albeit a Big Ten battle) in the future, but Starling may never make it to Lincoln, even if he signs a letter of intent.

ESPNU ranks Starling as the nation's No. 6 quarterback, but he's also a possible future draft pick in next May's First-Year Player Draft.

That would be three months after signing a letter of intent with Nebraska, but if he's drafted, he'll have a decision to make about his future: Start working out for fall camp in Lincoln or hit the road as a minor leaguer.

Last week, Starling played on the United States' 18-and-under national team and swept a five-game exhibition series from the Greater New York Sandlot Athletic Alliance All-Stars. I have no idea what that team is or who would be playing on it, but the point is, he's quite good with a bat in his hand. And he took some time out of the tournament to talk to the New York Post, making it obvious that he hasn't made up his mind just yet.

“I’ll just have to see how the rest of my summer goes and as far as the draft goes next year,” Starling told the paper. “We’ll just figure that stuff out then. But if it is going to college, I’ll just keep playing both and after a couple of years I’ll know what to do.”

He plans to play baseball and football at Nebraska if he comes to Lincoln, something that was a big part of his recruitment.

Last weekend, Starling and his teammates were honored at a Mets game, and it's clear Starling's enjoying himself.

“We were getting ready to line up and [Braves pitcher] Billy Wagner threw me a baseball so that was pretty sweet,” he said. “I could see a lot of these guys at that level some day.”

He'll play four more exhibition games for the national team in Minnesota before taking part in the world championships in Ontario later this month.

Meanwhile, Turner hasn't been shy about the competition that may come his way. Ranked as the nation's No. 4 athlete, Turner showed off his quotability to the Lincoln Journal Star last month. He even plans to early enroll at Nebraska, giving himself an opportunity to take part in spring practice before his freshman season.

But Starling sounds ready to go, too, even if he's still not sure which field he'll be stepping onto just yet.

“I’m really blessed,” said Starling, whose given name is Derek. “I just like to be a leader both in football and baseball. Being a quarterback is what, competing and going out every Friday night playing my hardest, the same with baseball, too.”