Tag:Bubba Starling
Posted on: August 16, 2011 1:09 am
Edited on: August 16, 2011 1:14 am

Bubba Starling spurns Nebraska, signs with Royals

Posted by Adam Jacobi

Nebraska's brief flirtation with Kansas City-area wunderkind quarterback/baseball prospect Bubba Starling came to an end late Monday night, as Starling came to terms with the Kansas City Royals. According to Nebraska RapidReporter Brandon Vogel, negotiations between Starling and Kansas City went down to the last hour of the August 15 deadline imposed on MLB draft picks; Starling was the fifth overall pick of the draft

Starling had been on campus at Nebraska since July attending classes, but he never reported to practice, and Nebraska left him off its 105-man practice roster when it convened last week. This was a mutually agreed-upon decision, though, and even Peter Gammons' potentially damaging report that Pelini had lost his temper and threatened Starling didn't really jibe with the larger pattern of supportive behavior displayed by Pelini and the rest of the Nebraska staff in their handling of the Starling situation.

Here's what Pelini had to say in a statement issued after Starling's signing:

"Everyone associated with our football program at Nebraska wishes Bubba nothing but the best in his future with the Kansas City Royals organization," Pelini said. "I know this decision has been very difficult for Bubba and his family, as it would be for anyone in his position. In the end, Bubba was in a win-win situation regardless of his choice, and we respect the decision he has made. I personally will root for Bubba in every game except when he plays against the Indians!"  

Starling's deal is worth $7.5 million over three years. It's pretty hard to pass up that kind of money for the comparatively scant benefits college football offers its student-athletes.

Posted on: August 8, 2011 12:06 pm
Edited on: August 8, 2011 2:12 pm

Nebraska opens camp without Bubba Starling

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

The will-he-or-won't-he drama surrounding Nebraska blue-chip quarterback signee and baseball mega-prospect Bubba Starling took another turn this weekend as the Huskers' fall camp opened without Starling on the team's 105-man roster.

Per CBSSports.com RapidReporter Brandon Vogel, Starling's absence wasn't a surprise to Husker head coach Bo Pelini. "Obviously he's got a lot of risk and after communicating with the family we decided this was the best way to go about it," Pelini said.

Pelini and the Huskers are holding two spots open on the roster, one for Starling and one for freshman defensive back Charles Jackson, who has yet to be cleared academically by the NCAA. Starling has until August 15 -- one week from today -- to sign with the Kansas City Royals, who selected Starling fifth overall in this year's MLB draft.

Despite that gaudy draft position and the massive contract it demands, Starling has long maintained he would consider playing both football and baseball for the Huskers, and has already enrolled in classes in Lincoln--meaning that as soon as the Aug. 15 deadline passes, he would be free to join the Huskers at any time.

That said, the consensus opinion has long been that Starling's Huskers flirtation was simply a ploy for leverage in his contract negotiations with the Royals. That Starling has passed on joining the football program for the start of camp won't do anything to change that consensus. (Nor will this bizarre tweet from ESPN baseball analyst Peter Gammons stating that Pelini had "gone off" and "threatened" Starling, an unsourced claim Starling's father has already denied.)

Meaning that for all the drama -- and with one week to go before Starling's signature is due, there's bound to be more -- the likely outcome remains the same as it ever was, with Starling cashing million-dollar checks to play for his hometown Royals. That's not what Husker fans will want to hear (especially with the transfer of backup Cody Green already limiting the team's depth under center), but until Starling's name actually appears on a Nebraska roster, that's the case.

Posted on: July 30, 2011 12:50 pm
Edited on: July 30, 2011 12:51 pm

Bubba Starling still mulling offer from Royals

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Bubba Starling may be one of Nebraska's prized commitments in its latest recruiting class, and he may have been working out with the team this summer, but that doesn't mean he'll still be on the Cornhuskers' roster this fall. The quarterback is also a pretty good baseball player, good enough to have been drafted fifth overall by his hometown Kansas City Royals in June's MLB amateur draft.

Still, until he signs a contract with the Royals, there's a chance that Starling will stay in Lincoln and at the moment there's a bit of a gap between what the Royals have offered Starling and what he and his agent are looking for. According to Nebraska beat reporter Sean Callahan, that gap is $2.5 million.

It's a big difference, but let's be realistic. Starling grew up a Royals fan and he's not been offered $7.5 million to play for them. Whether he wants $10 million and gets it or not, he's still got $7.5 million sitting on the table. Put yourself in his position for a second. Would you pass on that kind of money knowing that if your baseball career didn't pan out you could still come back to football in the future as so many others have?

No, I wouldn't either.

Starling's name may not be on the contract yet, but it will be soon enough.
Posted on: June 6, 2011 7:54 pm

Two top recruits go in top ten of MLB draft

Posted by Tom Fornelli

The MLB amatuer draft kicked off on Monday night, and it wasn't long before the player some consider to be the best athlete in the draft, Bubba Starling, was selected by the Kansas City Royals with the fifth pick. Starling also happens to be one of the top recruits in Nebraska's latest class, and the Cornhuskers were hoping Starling would be in Lincoln to play football.

But will he?

Nobody but Starling knows for sure, but if I were Nebraska fans, I wouldn't get my hopes up. Drew Pomeranz was selected by the Cleveland Indians last season in the fifth spot, and he ended up signing a contract worth $2.65 million. That's the kind of money that is going to be offered to Starling, and considering that Scott Boras is his advisor (which means he'll likely be his agent shortly) he may wind up with even more than that.

That's a lot of money to turn down. Maybe Starling will do it and decide to play two sports at Nebraska, but I wouldn't even bet $2.65 on it. 

Nebraska wasn't alone, though. Oklahoma also saw one of its quarterback recruits taken by the Arizona Diamondbacks with the seventh pick. Last year's seventh pick, Delino DeShields, got between $2 and $2.5 million from the Houston Astros. 

Posted on: May 30, 2011 1:54 am

Huskers' QB Green set to transfer

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

College football's quarterback carousel just keeps on spinning.

This time, the team going for a ride is the Nebraska Cornhuskers. Multiple outlets have reported that Huskers backup Cody Green has requested his scholarship release from the Nebraska coaches and will be transferring soon.

Unlike many backup quarterbacks who head elsewhere to find playing time, Green will arrive at his new school with quality experience in big-time football. A class of 2009 four-star recruit out of Dayton, Texas, Green nearly won the starting job as a true freshman and would eventually start the Huskers' road game at Baylor. Though he lost out on the 2010 starting position to Taylor Martinez, as a sophomore Green started a pair of wins against Iowa State and Colorado as Martinez sat out with an ankle injury. For his career, Green has completed 66-of-162 passes for five touchdowns with three interceptions.

So Green should be a big addition to whatever program might add him to the roster. (One local columnist has already speculated Green could be interested in replacing Kellen Moore at Boise State.) But as for how big a blow his departure will be for the Huskers, it largely depends on how well Martinez responds to his ongoing ankle issues and an awkward spring, one capped by an iffy 4-for-13 performance in the Nebraska spring game. Green's decision leaves the Huskers with just two scholarship quarterbacks, Martinez and redshirt freshman Brion Carnes. (Blue-chip recruit Bubba Starling could be a third, but he's expected to forgo college football in favor of pro baseball.) If Martinez is hurt again or struggles to the point of a benching, Bo Pelini will have no one else available who's ever thrown a college pass.

Then again, if Martinez returns to his 2010 form, adjusts to new coordinator Tim Beck's offense and stays healthy, the backup will be an afterthought--which is likely why Green has asked for his release in the first place. And experience or no experience, Carnes may not be all that bad an option off the bench anyway; he connected on 11-of-15 passes in the spring game and averaged better than 10 yards an attempt.

So the Huskers should be able to weather Green's departure. But the emphasis there is on "should"; if Green's absence leads to trouble at the quarterback spot, the inaugural Big Ten "Legends" division race--one in which the Huskers are likely the tentative favorite--will be thrown wide open.

Posted on: May 26, 2011 12:56 pm

Bubba Starling will be at Nebraska in July

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Quarterback Bubba Starling was one of the bigger signings in Nebraska's 2011 recruiting class, and the 6'5 two-sport star out of Gardner, Kansas told the Lincoln Journal Star on Wednesday that he'd be on campus to begin taking classes on July 10th. Of course, the real question with Starling is whether he'll still be in Lincoln after August 15th.

As I said, Starling is a two-sport star, and while he may have been a high-profile signing for Nebraska as a quarterback, his star shines a bit brighter in the other sport he plays - baseball. Starling is widely considered to be the best high school baseball player in the country, and I've seen him compared to the Texas Rangers' Josh Hamilton in overall terms of his ability. Which is why just about every MLB draft expert has Starling going in the top ten of the MLB amatuer draft on June 6th.

Starling has said in the past that it will take a lot to get him to leave Nebraska, and a lot is what he's likely going to get from whichever MLB team drafts him. It's possible that Starling could be offered a signing bonus of $5 million, a possibility that is a lot more likely when you realize his agent is Scott Boras. I don't care how much you like a school, or enjoy playing football, when you're fresh out of high school and somebody offers you $5 million to do something you love like playing baseball, it's not easy to turn that down. Especially when you consider that Nebraska baseball coach Mike Anderson, whom Starling had a good relationship with and was a big reason he chose the school, was fired on Sunday.

Starling told the Lincoln Journal Star that Anderson's firing won't have any influence in his decision, but it's a lot easier to say that than it is to mean it. I can't put myself in Starling's head, but I know that if I were in his shoes and I was offered $5 million to play baseball, I'd take the money and give it my best shot.

After all, if baseball didn't work out for him, Starling wouldn't be the first player in history to give up on it and come back to play college football. You don't have to look any further than current Oklahoma State quarterback Brandon Weeden to find such an example. 

Posted on: February 10, 2011 6:10 pm
Edited on: February 11, 2011 2:24 am

Starling: "Going to take a lot" to leave Nebraska

Posted by Adam Jacobi

On paper, one of the crown jewels of Nebraska's recruiting class is Bubba Starling, a highly-touted quarterback prospect from Gardner, KS (an exurb of Kansas City). Starling is one of the top high school quarterbacks in the country, and he could probably challenge reigning Big XII Freshman of the Year Taylor Martinez for a starting role on Day 1.

In fact, Starling is such a good athlete that he's also one of the best baseball prospects in the nation, and although Nebraska has offered him a spot on both its football and baseball teams, that might not be enough for the young man Baseball America anointed as its No. 1 high school prospect. And since Scott Boras is advising the young man, well, it seems as if his story's already written.

Still, the draft hasn't happened yet, and Boras has a funny way of making demands so steep that his draftee just plain doesn't get signed. And lest we think that (pardon the pun) hardballing won't happen in this instance, here's Starling himself starting negotiations at "a lot of money" (via the Kansas City Star):

Several online mock drafts have Starling going No. 11 overall to the Houston Astros, which is where the complications arise.

Last season’s 11th pick, Deck McGuire, picked up a $2 million signing bonus from the Toronto Blue Jays. Tyler Matzek got $3.9 million from the Colorado Rockies in 2009 as the No. 11 draft pick, and Justin Smoak netted $3.5 million in the same slot in 2008 from the Texas Rangers.

That kind of money would be hard to turn down. Starling is weary of the incessant speculation about his future, but he admits that becoming a multi-millionaire overnight might convince him to forego his commitment to the Huskers.

“Obviously, it’s something I would have to consider, but it’s going to take a lot of money for me not to go to Nebraska,” Starling said.

Now, if the top high school prospect gets any money from the draft, it's going to be a lot of money, so Nebraska fans should be rooting for a small-market team without a prayer of paying a big-time signing bonus to draft Starling. Generally, though, those small-market teams know better than to tangle with Scott Boras clients when it comes to draft day, which is why those mock drafts are putting Starling with the Astros down at the 11th spot. 

If that is indeed Starling's fate, Husker fans shouldn't panic; Taylor Martinez is back under center, after all, and as long as Bo Pelini can keep from running T-Magic off with another ill-timed scream session, Nebraska should be set at quarterback for a while. Moreover, if Starling's baseball career somehow doesn't pan out, he'd hardly be the first guy to come back to college football and be successful (Brandon Weeden, Chris Weinke, others). Something for Husker fans to keep in mind when they decide between "traitor" or "best wishes" to direct at Starling if/when he makes the jump to pro baseball.


The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com