I watched Starkel at Nike's The Opening Regional and Elite 11 camp in Arlington make fast friends with instructors and competitors alike. He is friendly in a sincere way and that also makes him an easy prospect to talk to over the phone. He committed to Oklahoma State back in mid April. In observing, he very early became a top target for OSU offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich.
Now as spring football has started and finished at Liberty Christian, former OSU graduate assistant and current Texas A&M offensive coordinator Jake Spavital has issued an offer from the Aggies.
"A&M came by the first day of spring football and they only stayed about 10 minutes and I thought to myself, 'well, they're not going to offer,'" Starkel said. "Then as spring football continued they were talking to my coach and they asked if he thought I would consider them. That kind of went on all through the spring and then they came through with the offer. So, yes, they were communicating through my coach."
Starkel, who last season as a junior before being injured completed 106-of-160 passing for 66.3 percent and 1,609 yards with 19 touchdowns, said it was an honor picking up the offer, but he is still committed to Oklahoma State.
"I'm still committed, not that much has changed," said the 6-3 1/2, 185-pound quarterback. "It's not one of those things where I'm not having a good day, so I change. I'm more of a loyal, be true to your school guy.
"Right now, nothing has changed. It's awesome getting an offer like that, and my sister goes to Texas A&M-Galveston and she is at all the games, so she probably wants me to go there, but nothing has changed with OSU."
I went a little deeper and asked Starkel if he were to look at something would it be quarterback depth because that always seems to be a deciding factor with a lot of young quarterbacks on school decision and on transfer decisions.
"You look at it, you look at everything," Starkel explained. "You know A&M has quarterbacks and OSU has the (high school) senior from last season (John Kolar). I'll have to compete with him. There is competition wherever you go. I know you are not going to have a job handed to you. I'm willing to compete for what I get. There is competition everywhere."
Speaking of competition, Starkel is a little over a week away from heading to Los Angeles and the return of the Elite 11 Semifinals. There will be over 20 quarterbacks going to L.A. and then through competition it will be shaved down to a smaller group that will go to Beaverton, Oregon for the Elite 11 Finals and Nike The Opening in July. There is another regional camp in Columbus, Ohio this weekend and some more invites will go out.
Starkel can't wait. "Definitely, I'm excited to get out there and it is an event that I've been waiting for," he added. "It's Los Angeles and it's the best quarterbacks, so I can't wait."
Liberty Christian wrapped up spring football last Saturday with a spring game and Starkel said the rainy weather had an impact. He said he threw a couple of picks, but also threw several touchdowns.
He is a quarterback with a quick release, processes the field well, and has a lot of velocity on the ball. He can spin it. In Los Angeles there shouldn't be a lot of rain to worry about. Of course, you can also count on Trent Dilfer and the Elite 11 staff to come up with some hardships for Starkel and the quarterbacks there to deal with.