His Dirkness finds himself in a unique position to cross-analyze a specific player between two of my current activities, writing for Husker Corner along with assisting the Blazer Broadcast Network for Gardner-Edgerton High School Football games.
Well who happens to play for the Trailblazers? None other than Derek "Don't call me Bubba" Starling. Nah, of course you can call him Bubba!
According to Rivals, Bubba Starling is the #1 player in the state of Kansas, the #5 rated "
dual-threat Quarterback" in the nation, and the #110 rated prospect overall of any position. These are extremely high grades, especially for someone coming from the boonies of Kansas.
You may have caught a glimpse of Bubba on national television this past week, as Gardner-Edgerton hosted their rivals, St. Thomas Aquinas, on ESPNU on Friday night. Well, I've been getting an up close and personal look at him all season.
It's hard to evaluate Starling moving on the next level. Simply put, he is bigger and faster than every opposing kid on the field. It's similar to watching LeBron James (in the pros, not in high school--nothing is like that). However, it's neither of these skills that impresses me most. The pure ferociousness that he finishes runs with reminds me of Adrian Peterson. He absolutely refuses to go down when on some runs, and has no problems delivering the punishment instead of receiving it like most ball carriers.
With almost 1,500 rushing yards on the season, along with 21 touchdowns, he is able to run the ball whenever and wherever he wants (part of the reason the Blazers are ranked #1 in the state and #2 in the Kansas City area--behind Rockhurst).
He proved that theory correct on Friday, racking up 310 rushing yards (260 in the first half!) and 3 touchdowns under the biggest spotlight of the season thus far. He only needed to throw the ball three times, completing two of them, one for a touchdown. Here are his highlights and interview following the nationally televised game....
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