Lincoln, NE – By 11:02 P.M. (CT) Gardner Edgerton (Kan.) product Bubba Starling will make a decision 99.9% of athletes never have to make.
Starling will have to chose between being a two-sports star at Nebraska or giving football up to become a professional baseball player.
Drafted by the hometown Kansas City Royals with the 5th pick in June's 2011 MLB Draft, Starling worked out with the Huskers much of the summer, before returning to Kansas late last week.
Represented by Scott Boras, the Kansas City Star has reported the two sides have not talked for weeks, but negotiations in the final hours are expected.
Starling's camp is looking for a signing bonus near $10 million, the Royals reportedly have offered $7.5. But Nebraska head coach Bo Pelini, who has stayed in contact with the Stalings, had this to say on Saturday.
“There's nothing new there. Until an offer is made,” said Pelini. “He doesn't have all the information to make a decision.”
Starling went through summer conditioning with NU, but was left off the 105-man roster until he made a decision. Because of this, he was not allowed to participate in the first week of camp.
On the football field, Starling was 33-4 as a starting high school quarterbacks, rushing for 2,417 yards and 31 touchdowns last season. On the diamond, Starling played for the 18-and-under Team USA last summer in the 2010 IBAF World Junior “AAA” Baseball Championships. In 19 games against some of the world’s best amateurs, he hit .339/.474/.532 with three home runs and 12 RBIs.
“The term five tool player gets thrown around quite a bit. Bubba Starling has the potential to be in that exclusive club,” said Scout.com National Baseball Expert Frankie Piliere. “He’s not a five tool player yet, as his hit tool needs refining at the professional level. But, his raw power, speed, defensive abilities and arm all grade out near the top of the 20-80 scale. Patience will be required with his development but the upside is as good as it gets.”
Starling grew up a Royals fan during his childhood and stated before the draft it would be hard to not pick them if drafted.
"Obviously money plays a part of it, but at some point it comes down to what do you want to do," said Pelini at Big Ten Media Days. "Do you want to go to college and be a multi-sport athlete, or do you want to go pro?
"It's got to be where his heart is and what he wants to do. If he's making a decision any other way, he's probably making a mistake."
*** Parts of Royals Corner Publisher Dave Sanford's information was included in this report. ***
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