Football limbo is a wildly uncomfortable place for a top prospect. It's uncertain. It's agonizing. It's kind of scary. Yet here sits four-star running back Nathan Starks, waiting to hear some news - any news - that will help put him at ease.
Starks was dismissed from Las Vegas Bishop Gorman High School because of disciplinary issues earlier this offseason. He has since moved to Colorado and enrolled at Englewood's Cherry Creek. That part of his life is squared away.
Whether or not he'll be able to play football at the school, on the other hand, is uncertain. Transfer rules in Nevada prohibited him from playing at any other high school in the state. Colorado has similar bylaws, but because Starks crossed state lines, he's hopeful that he'll be allowed to suit up for his senior season. "Hopeful", of course, is the key word.
The initial ruling was that Starks would be ineligible to play next season. An appeal is currently in the hands of Colorado's high school athletics association.
And so Starks waits.
"Everybody around me seems to think they'll let me play," Starks said. "I should be finding out sometime next week. My mom and my coaches are kind of doing the talking for me as far as with the ruling, but I should know something next week."
Starks is so confident, in fact, that he hasn't done much work on a backup plan. What he does know is that his list of scholarship offers, which once stood 11 strong, has dwindled. There are, however, two major players left in the race.
"I'm still talking to Notre Dame and Oklahoma a lot," Starks said. "It's Coach (Tony) Alford and Coach (Cale) Gundy, both the running backs coaches.. They say the offers still stand. They're just making sure I'm staying in shape and staying working."
Starks says that the Sooners and and Irish have become his co-favorites in the process. The fact that those schools stuck with him through his spat of trouble is as much a reason for their standing as anything. Still, there are other factors at work.
"Notre Dame is the only visit that I've actually taken," Starks said. "I just liked it. It was a great place. The academic side is great and everything. I would have every resource I would possibly need there. With Oklahoma, they've been one of my favorites since the beginning. Like I said, I've always looked up to Adrian Peterson. He's one of my favorite running backs."
Starks says he has no plans to make a commitment in the near future and could possibly put his decision off until signing day.