He was constantly pumped up by the Elite 11 staff during the entire process and when given the opportunity showed he truly belonged in the field of elite quarterback talent that will finish high school and make the jump to college over the next 12 months. After the competition, Starkel showed his appreciation on Twitter for being involved in all of it.
"Extremely blessed to have participated in The Opening and the Elite 11," Starkel stated. "I'll never forget the people that I met and the memories that I made."
That tweet was re-tweeted by Elite 11 head coach Trent Dilfer. The NFL veteran and Super Bowl winning quarterback had some very nice things to say about Starkel throughout the process from the regional competition in Arlington, Texas on. He repeatedly said that he threw like a pro and "he is one of the best pure passers that we've ever had at Elite 11."
Other observers agreed on the throwing. In the end it was seven-on-seven success that seemed to forge the final pecking order and Starkel was teamed on Team Hypercool with another very hot quarterback in competing for playing time and that was Californian K.J. Costello.
The Elite 11 MVP was Shea Patterson of Shreveport (Calvary Baptist), La., who is committed to Mississippi and quarterbacked The Opening seven-on-seven champ in Team Lunarbeast. Lunarbeast was a team that on Thursday won all four seeding games, and Starkel came in late and went 8-for-8 passing and drove Hypercool right down for a score that finished with Starkel lofting a corner fade where his receiver could come down with it and then he zipped a slant pass for the extra point.
"Oklahoma State took him and that is a school that knows what they are doing in player evaluation," ESPN recruiting analyst Tom Luginbill said in talking about Starkel and how well he was doing. "If they are taking a guy (Starkel) then they probably know what they are doing."
"Starkel came in prepared," Dilfer further explained in the ESPNU telecast of The Opening on Thursday. "He spent the last three weeks studying and he was ready and he prepares and throws like a pro. I think he is a pro prospect if he can add to his frame. He is a little slight right now, but in a major college weight room and with a major college training table then he could be a quarterback that weighs 220-225 pounds. His growth plates are still open. He throws it like a pro."
Starkel told The Oklahoman that he learned some technique to help his passing while at The Opening and throughout the process in Elite 11.
"I learned a lot about the game, reads, and progressions," Starkel said to the newspaper. "They helped us identify coverages and all that, as well as footwork."
For Starkel the footwork part of it he said meant widening his throwing stance for a stronger base to get power in his already tight spirals.
The information on the entire Elite 11 process in Oregon, which started three days ahead of The Opening, is a little limited out there because there will be an Elite 11 documentary and highlight program coming out later in July or early August. Patterson was the MVP and the rest of the Elite 11 selections are in alphabetical order:
2015 Elite 11 Quarterbacks
Now a receiver that Oklahoma State has offered and Starkel stated he would serve as his tour guide at Oklahoma State is Sachse, Texas speedster Devin Duvernay.
Duvernay is 5-11, 195 and ran a 4.32 in the forty during the testing at The Opening. He, like Starkel, was also involved in one of the top 10 highlight plays during the seven-on-seven competition. Starkel has his specatuclar touchdown pass and catch by Chase Claypool on Thursday and Duvernay had a catch where in mid-air he came back and on top of the defender to make a catch that set up a score.
Duvernay and Navasota's Tren 'Davian Dickson are top receiving targets for the Cowboys in the 2016 recruiting class.