Position: Running Back
Location: Englewood (Colo.) Cherry Creek
Ranking: Four-star safety, ranked No. 20 nationally in the 2014 class.
Recruiting: Starks had offers from all over the country, including offers at one time from Alabama, Florida State, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Texas and USC. He committed to UCLA on Saturday night after the U.S. Army All-American Bowl.
The Scouting Report: Starks was originally ranked with the running backs before moving to the safety position. He's one the elite two-way players in the entire nation and is a definite difference maker at the next level. He is an elite athlete who has the talent to play for just about any school in the country. He looked great at running back during the week at the Army Bowl and will be ranked at running back in the final rankings. He's shifty and gets good yards after contact though he doesn't have true top-end speed. Does a good job catching the ball out of the backfield and could be used in a myriad of ways there.
Overall Analysis: Starks had an interesting recruitment, with offers from several elite programs across the country, including one from Texas going into his junior year, something Texas doesn't normally do, especially for an out-of-state prospect. Alabama, Oklahoma, Florida State and Notre Dame all offered him. Then came the off-the-field issues that got him expelled from Bishop Gorman and nearly cost him his senior season. He finally ended up at Cherry Creek HS in Colorado and had a decent season, though he was only able to play for half the year. The offers, though, seemed to dry up with the uncertainty of his future, the questions that surrounded his off-the-field situations and his leaving Gorman. That said, Starks took care of everything he needed to off-the-field. On the field, despite his recruitment slowing up, he still made plays. He told us at the beginning of the Army Bowl practices, his top three was Florida State, Oklahoma and UCLA, but that the Bruins hadn't recruited him much with the firing of Steve Broussard. A good start at the Army Bowl built some buzz and then UCLA offered him after the game and he committed that night. Starks has a little bit of a chip on his shoulder too, on the field, after the way the last few months have gone down. The stars aligned right for Starks and UCLA to find each other and now Starks has his school and UCLA has its running back.
Check out highlights of Starks from this past season.