Saturday, August 6, 2011
Bubba Starling not practicing for Huskers
By Brian Bennett
The Bubba Starling watch at Nebraska will become more of a quiet wait and see.
The freshman quarterback who was drafted No. 5 overall by the Kansas City Royals in June did not practice and was not listed on the roster as the Huskers took the practice field for the first time on Saturday. Head coach Bo Pelini said Starling, who arrived in Lincoln last month, won't practice until he decides whether he will sign with the Royals. Kansas City must sign him by Aug. 15.
"He's got a lot at risk," Pelini told reporters. "We communicated with the family and decided this is the best way to go about this. We're on the same page."
Pelini sounded a different tune at Big Ten media days last week, saying Starling's advisers weren't running the program. But it makes sense for both parties. Starling shouldn't risk an injury now with the possibility of signing for millions of dollars on the immediate horizon. And though Nebraska would love to get him acclimated as quickly as possible, it doesn't seem like a great idea to give him important reps in practice if he's going to leave in less than 10 days.
It also means that should Starling stay with the Huskers, he'll be pretty far behind in his development. Though he's not expected to play right away with Taylor Martinez and Brion Carnes ahead of him, he could still provide depth at a position that took a hit in that area when Cody Green transferred.