November 26, 2010

Is Starling the nation's top prep athlete?

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On the same day that he was named Baseball America's top-ranked prep prospect, Gardner (Kan.) Gardner Edgerton quarterback Bubba Starling broke the school's single-game rushing record in the Class 5A state semifinals.

An impressive day, no doubt.

And it's left many asking the same question. Is Bubba Starling the best all-around athlete in the Class of 2011?

"He might just be," said AMP videographer Gregg Peterson, who witnessed Starling's performance on the football field last Friday night.

In the game, Starling carried the ball 31 times for a school-record 396 yards and five touchdowns - on runs of 79, 70, 27, 6, and 1 yard.

"Starling is a dangerous runner with great physical size," Peterson said. "He has great height at 6'5 and a lean powerful build combined with blazing speed. You can't arm tackle this guy."

The only snag in the fairy-tale day for Starling is that Gardner Edgerton lost the game, 45-42 to Stilwell (Kan.) Blue Valley.

Starling, a four-star dual-threat quarterback, has been selected to the West team of the 2011 U.S. Army All-American Game.

He is a solid verbal commit to Nebraska, where he will play both football and baseball. On the baseball field, Starling is a right-handed pitcher and an outfielder. He's projected as a very early draft pick in next year's draft, but that's not a decision that he's ready to talk about yet.

"Yeah it gets old, but I just mostly tell everyone, I don't think about baseball stuff that much," Starling told after his Army selection. "In the summertime, I thought about baseball a lot, playing it every day. Right now its football season and I'm not worried about that. When it comes time, I'll start thinking about it and that big decision, but right now its football."

But the Baseball America selection did catch his attention.

"I was pumped when I saw that, because there are a lot of great baseball players in the country," Starling told the Kansas City Star. "It's an honor to be at the top of that list."

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