It seems the apple of Notre Dame’s eye at quarterback is Kansas athlete Bubba Starling, who has already taken numerous visits to campus over the last few months. As mentioned before, Starling also has a future ahead of him as a baseball player, which adds a layer of complexity to the recruiting strategy.
Starling is looking at both the football and the baseball programs at perspective colleges, and seems intent on playing both sports collegiately if the allure of a big-money signing bonus doesn’t keep him out of college all together.
With Notre Dame announcing the firing of Dave Schrage after four disappointing seasons as Irish baseball coach, Starling talked with IrishSportsDaily.com’s Steve Wiltfong about the effect that might have on his decision.
“Every time I’ve been up to Notre Dame, I visited with coach Schrage and the other coaches, and he’s just been real nice and helpful about doing both sports,” Starling told ISD. “He’s been helpful talking about the baseball program and how things would work out. He was great and we were in contact with him. I might have to wait. We’ll have to see how this visit goes for Nebraska. I’d like to see who Notre Dame hires for their baseball staff and get everything figured out with that.”
As much as a new baseball coach is an important factor in Starling’s decision, there isn’t a coach in America that wouldn’t welcome a guy with Starling’s raw tools onto his college roster, especially if he isn’t costing him a scholarship.
The real question for Starling will be whether or not he’ll ever step foot onto a college campus, as he’s seen as one of the top prep pitchers in next year’s amateur draft, and many high school power arms that are 6-foot-5 end up with seven figure signing bonuses that force them to skip college all together.
From everything I’ve heard, the Irish are in fine shape with Starling and they expect him to come into the fold eventually. The firing of Schrage wasn’t exactly a surprise after four seasons, and regardless of how cozy he was with Starling and his family, the real decision for Bubba will be college football or pro baseball.