Starks Looks Ready To Patrol Backfield

MANHATTAN, Kan. - Kansas State has had a great deal of success signing players from the Houston area and leaning on their relationships, the K-State staff went to Crosby to sign Donovan Starks.

Kansas State had recent success with players out of the Houston area. Last season, the Wildcats got big production from Houston products; Ray Kibble, Blake Slaughter and Ryan Doerr. The staff was able to scoop up another one out of the fertile football area in Dovovan Starks. The 5-foot-11, 185-pound defensive back was a three-year starter at Crosby High School.

"Donovan was real young when he became a starter on varsity," said Crosby Defensive Coordinator, Chuck McKeon. "At a school our size in Texas, that's pretty rare. He was a fairly sharp player at the age of 15. By his sophomore year he was starting in our secondary and became a mainstay there for the next three years."

Starks was named Texas District 19-4A Newcomer of the Year in the 2009 season. The Cougar staff used him at cornerback and safety on defense and at H-Back in the offense.

"At safety he has great size and speed and hip flexibility," McKeon said of Starks' game. "He has the ability to make a quick burst out of a back pedal and change direction. We had him play a lot of corner as a senior. His biggest strength there is his vertical speed. He could run with any wide receiver he was covering."

Kansas State began expressing interest in Starks after his big sophomore year at Crosby. The staff maintained their relationship with Starks and on February 1st, 2012, he signed with the Wildcats.

"They got on him early," said McKeon on Kansas State's recruitment of Starks. "They stayed with him the whole way, and I think he was flattered by that. Of course he went to their camps. He felt since he was a sophomore that was where he was going to go, and he never wavered on it. It's good to feel wanted. I think that's true for anyone."

McKeon says Starks has been a model student/athlete at Crosby, and he expects that to be the case when he gets to Manhattan. He credits it to the fact Starks comes from a close, tight-knit family.

"They're very supportive of Donovan and want him to achieve," McKeon stated. "His Mom is his biggest and loudest fan. He's a guy who's has his head on straight. It's been his goal to play at the next level, and he hasn't even had any minor issues to distract from that. Donovan has a great disposition, always upbeat."

Currently, Starks is running the 200 meter dash and the 4X1 relay for Crosby track. In football, he wore No. 5. His high school career came to an end last November in the first round of the Texas Class 4A Region III Division I playoffs in a game against Vidor at Lamar University's Provost Umphrey Stadium.

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