Nearing a Decision

Notre Dame's top target at quarterback will make another visit to campus this weekend. Bubba Starling from Gardner Edgerton High School (Gardner, Kan.) has narrowed his list and could make a decision sooner rather than later.

Bubba Starling (6-foot-5, 190-pounds) recently trimmed his list of list of schools down to Notre Dame and Nebraska. According to his head coach, Marvin Diener Bubba and his family would like to visit each of his finalists prior to making his final decision.

"He's narrowed things down and Notre Dame is part of that process," Diener said. "His parents want to visit each of the schools and try to make the decision of where they want to commit in early summer. They want to get back on campus to each of those places so that they can make the best decision as possible. There's no question that Notre Dame is one of those schools."

"If things don't go well, which I would not expect to happen. I think their decision will be made fairly soon. In regards, to the two schools, I think it's way too close to call.

Starling has already visited both Nebraska and Notre Dame, but this will be Bubba's third trip to South Bend since late March.

"The first time he came up with his dad for a junior day," Diener said. "Then he came up with me and coach Henry to watch the practices and me and coach Henry wanted to see the practices. This weekend he'll be going up with both and his mom and dad.

"At this point it comes down to what system, and what group of coaches Bubba feels comfortable with. And that's why Notre Dame is still one of the schools that he's looking at. He liked the practices, he liked the coaches, and now he has to make the decision on which school it's ultimately going to be. For him to be still considering them is a reflection of how well all of his visits have gone… no question.

"The schools that are recruiting him are very good schools." he said. "Notre Dame has done an awesome job, and coach Kelly has certainly been a part of that. There's no question there's not a better place that he can get a degree. But the other schools that he looked at are also outstanding schools."

The question of whether Bubba will opt for the Major League Baseball draft next June will certainly be a concern to the school Bubba selects, but coach Diener feels that Bubba is currently leaning toward entering college and playing both sports.

"Right now he's planning on playing college football and baseball… there's no question," Diener explained. "Getting an education is very important for both Bubba and his parents. But then again he could get an education after going to pro baseball. And they're' going to look at that and make the best decision for Bubba. I can say that the plan right now is college football and baseball. That's the path he's choosing right now. The universities are very aware that there's going to be a draft next June. If they chose to take Bubba they realize that Bubba could take a chance and go into the draft next June, but right now that is not the intent."

Expectations are that Bubba will be drafted no lower than the second round. It's also very possible that he could be selected fairly high in the first round, which might pursued Bubba to skip football altogether so that he could begin his professional baseball career.

"He will get drafted next June and there's no question that he will get drafted," Diener said. "It just depends on how high he gets drafted. It has to be the right spot and it also has to be the right organization There are all sorts of things that he's going to have to decide with his parents at that time on whether he wants to forgo football and play pro baseball right away. His draft status could change between now and June 4 of next year. There's no question that that plays a role in this whole process.

According to the Major League Baseball draft rules, if Bubba does enroll in college, he would not be eligible for the draft until the end of his junior year. Top Stories