He had 128 tackles (including 4.5 for losses), 5 deflections, 3 fumble recoveries (1 for a TD) and 3 interceptions in his career. He had 33 career starts.
The veteran Starling started for his third season at strong safety as a senior in 2012. Overall in 2012 while starting all 13 games, he had 42 tackles, including 1 for a loss of 1 yard, plus 1 fumble recovery, 1 forced fumble, 3 interceptions (second on the team) and 4 deflections.
He had 3 tackles against Hawaii and 2 against Syracuse. He had 1 tackle and an interception that he returned 34 yards at Stanford and a tackle and an interception against California. He had a tackle and 2 deflections at Utah, then at Washington he had 2 tackles (including 1 for a loss in which he forced a fumble and recovered it on second-and-goal at the USC 3 in the fourth quarter as the Huskies were threatening to tighten the game). He had 4 tackles and a deflection against Colorado, 5 tackles, an interception and a deflection at Arizona, 9 tackles against Oregon and a tackle each against Arizona State and UCLA. He had 8 tackles against Notre Dame and 4 tackles against Georgia Tech.
Starling started for his second season at strong safety as a junior in 2011 and played solidly. Overall in 2011 while starting 11 games (he missed the Colorado game), he had 48 tackles, including 3.5 for losses, plus 2 fumble recoveries (1 for a TD) and 2 deflections. He injured his ribs and shoulder against Stanford and missed the Colorado game. He won USC's 2011 Co-Lifter of the Year Award.
He had 1 tackle against Minnesota, 2 tackles versus Utah and Syracuse, 5 tackles and a deflection against Arizona State, 4 tackles against Arizona and 6 tackles (1 for a loss) at California. He had 4 tackles (0.5 for loss) and made a momentum-changing 80-yard fumble return for a TD (USC's longest scoring fumble return since Zeke Moreno's 80-yarder at Oregon State in 2000) at Notre Dame. He then had 5 tackles against Stanford, 4 tackles (1 for a loss) and a deflection against Washington, 6 tackles (1 for a loss) and a fumble recovery at Oregon and 9 tackles versus UCLA.
Started USC's first 9 games at strong safety as a sophomore in 2010, then was sidelined the final 4 games with a strained hamstring. Overall in 2010, he had 37 tackles, an interception and a deflection. He had 5 tackles against both Hawaii and Virginia, 4 tackles and an interception at Minnesota, 3 tackles and a deflection at Washington State, 7 tackles against Washington, 5 tackles at Stanford, 2 tackles against California, 5 tackles against Oregon and 1 tackle against Arizona State before injuring his hamstring.
Starling saw limited action as a backup free safety and played on special teams as a first-year freshman in 2009. Overall in 2009 while appearing in 9 games (all but San Jose State, Ohio State, Washington, Arizona State), he had 1 tackle (at California). He strained his hamstring at Oregon and missed the Arizona State game.
His 2008 honors included Sporting News Top 100, Super Prep All-American, Prep Star All-American, Super Prep All-Dixie and Prep Star All-Southeast as a senior defensive back at Lincoln High in Tallahassee (Fla.). He made 50 tackles in 2008. Lincoln played in the 2008 Florida state 4A championship game. As a junior in 2007, he had 98 tackles, 10 tackles for losses, 5 forced fumbles and 2 interceptions. He was a 3-year starter. He also played baseball at Lincoln.
Current Trojan T.J. Bryant also prepped at Lincoln. His cousin, Bryan Evans, was a defensive back at Georgia (2006-09).