Army Bowl adds Kansas star Starling
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The honors just keep adding up in two sports for Gardner (Kan.) Edgerton quarterback Bubba Starling.
The 6-foot-5, 193-pound dual-threat passer has done it all this year. Between playing baseball for Team USA in the Junior World Championship and racking up an impressive list of scholarship offers before committing to Nebraska, Starling has been busy. Now, he can add another honor to his football career as on Tuesday, he was named a 2011 U.S. Army All-American.
"Some of the best play in this, so to be compared to some of them is pretty sweet," Starling said about his selection. "A ton of people get nominated, but actually being chosen for this, it's a great honor.
"I thought about it a lot, because of course playing in some of the baseball [all-star games] and then possibly this. I feel like I'm just as good in football as I am in baseball."
Starling's coach Marvin Diener said Starling's selection is not just special for Edgerton High School, but much more than that.
"We're really proud of Bubba and the fact that he'll be able to represent not only our school and community, but really the state of Kansas at a very prestigious football game," Diener said. "I don't think you ever expect to have a chance to coach that type of player. And he's worked very hard to develop into the player he is."
Diener added there is no questioning his raw athletic ability. That's obvious considering not only his success through the football recruiting process, but also the talk that he'll be a top draft pick in baseball next year.
But his head football coach added that Starling is more than just a good "athlete."
"To play in something like you have to be a great football player," Diener said. "He's worked very hard to become that. There is no question with his talent and what he's done on the field so far gave him an opportunity to play in this game."
His head coach reminds everyone that this game, no matter what offense he is running in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl, Starling will show people how dangerous he is running the ball. Though the offense at Edgerton is certainly great for the talented quarterback to do damage on the ground, Starling hopes this game will prove to everyone that he can throw the ball as well.
"I just feel like with my throwing ability, my numbers don't show what I'm capable of being," he said. "I just feel like, there are going to be guys that want to catch the football and want to catch every pass [in the game], and you know playing with guys like that, I think will prove how good of a thrower I am."
As for the decision to go into the Major League Baseball draft next fall, it's not something Starling is really interested in discussing too much at this point.
"Yeah it gets old, but I just mostly tell everyone, I don't think about baseball stuff that much," Starling said. "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."
As a junior, Starling rushed for 1,381 yards and 19 touchdowns while throwing for 1,433 and 18 scores with just six interceptions. He's combined for 14 total scores so far this season for the 7-0 Trailblazers.
The U.S. Army All-American Bowl will be played Jan. 8, 2011 in San Antonio, Texas at the Alamodome. The game will be shown live on NBC at 12 Noon CST.