Posted on: August 8, 2011 12:06 pm
Edited on: August 8, 2011 2:12 pm
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: February 4, 2011 12:21 pm
Posted by Jerry Hinnen
When we last discussed the Nebraska coaching situation, Huskers secondary coach Marvin Sanders was expected to be on his way out. Expectation became reality later in the afternoon as Sanders officially resigned . With Indiana coach Kevin Wilson having told the world on Signing Day that one of his coaches had already been hired as Sanders' replacement, the timing of Sanders' departure looks curious: why wait until the day after Signing Day to make public information that's clearly been available for some time?
The easy answer is "because Bo Pelini didn't want to risk scaring off any of the Huskers' commitments," and that's why one of those commitments -- Spring (Tx.) cornerback Charles Jackson -- isn't pleased at all about having been kept in the dark , per the Omaha World-Herald:
“I'm not in the happiest mood right now ... I was pretty close with [Sanders]. He was there one day, and then he just left. It was like, OK, Coach Sanders isn't going to be coaching me. Who's going to be coaching me?" ...
Ironically, Pelini had been asked about the impact of staff changes on recruits the day before and had said that "as long as you're honest with them every step of the way ... you develop trust." From Jackson's perspective, at least, it appears the Huskers have not been that honest and that trust has not been developed.
Even that won't be enough to keep Jackson out of Lincoln, though; he said he remains "excited" to honor his NLI signature and play for new coach Corey Raymond, and added he would have made the same decision even if he'd been informed of Sanders' plans beforehand. But with rumors of further changes to the staff swirling, Jackson may not wind up the only 2011 Husker signee whom arrives on campus less than entirely thrilled with how his new head coach has handled an increasingly awkward-looking situation.