DES MOINES, Iowa – Kansas prep quarterback Bubba Starling is a true dual threat.
Sure, Starling can run and throw a football like few of his peers. But he also hit, pitch and play the outfield with the best of them.
Starling, a 6-foot-5, 200-pound senior from Gardner-Edgerton High just outside of Kansas City, Mo., has committed to Nebraska to play both football and baseball.
Baseball might be Starling's best sport, and he's projected as a top pick as an outfielder in the 2011 major league draft. But he's also one heck of a quarterback.
Starling threw for 1,433 yards and 18 touchdowns as a junior last season and ran for 1,381 yards and 19 TDs on just 124 carries. Numbers like that — and 40-yard dash time of 4.36 according to Gardner-Edgerton coach Marvin Diener — drew the interest of schools such as Notre Dame and Alabama before Starling settled on the Huskers.
"He has just dynamic physical skills," Diener said. "He's big-time fast."
Starling broke into the Blazers' starting lineup as a sophomore, and last season he led his team to a 12-1 record and the Class 5A title game.
Starling has earned a special place in the eyes of his community, no matter what sport he ultimately chooses to focus on.
"He's a very down-to-earth kid," Diener said. "His best asset is, his peers like him, and he's very easy to cheer for. He's no question a small-town hero here. Our young kids, they want to be wearing No. 16."