Bubba Starling and Archie Bradley have no shortage of options for their futures. Each is a highly touted quarterback recruit with spots on upper echelon programs’ rosters. Today, each was also given the opportunity to make 10 digits, while others their age bus tables for minimum wage. Starling and Bradley are hard throwing baseball prospects whose talents were recognized in the Major League Baseball Draft: Starling by his hometown Kansas City Royals, Bradley by the Arizona Diamondbacks.
The choice seems obvious for both players, who could come with price tags in the $20 millions. Should professional baseball not work out, they would still have football eligibility. Boston College’s David Shinskie is one such example, who in 2009 at 25 years old started as a freshman for the Eagles. Of course, Shinskie wasn’t originally a BC recruit, having signed with Delaware more than half-a-decade earlier.
Waiting around to see how their baseball careers pan out could be an option for Nebraska’s Bo Pelini or Oklahoma’s Bob Stoops. Bobby Bowden did so for 2000 Heisman Trophy winner Chris Weinke. But while Starling and Bradley pursue baseball, other quarterbacks will come and go. The next big prep star is already working out on some field somewhere in this nation. Is holding a spot realistic for two of the more prominent programs? Starling’s case is particularly intriguing though, as his dual style of quarterbacking perfectly fits what the Cornhuskers have traditionally won while employing.
NC State head Tom O’Brien’s announcement Mike Glennon would captain the Wolf Pack offense as its quarterback left a resounding message. Russell Wilson started the last three seasons, led NCSU to two bowl games, and scored 37 total touchdowns in last season’s top 25 campaign. But O’Brien opted for the Crosby Stills & Nash path, and loves the one he’s with. Glennon was present for Wolf Pack spring workouts, and will be present throughout summer. Wilson missed spring practice and will be absent in the coming months bussing around the Southeast with the Asheville Tourists.
O’Brien’s turning over the offense to Glennon could be seen as a “what have you done for me lately” decision given all Wilson has provided the NCSU program. But conversely and just as legitimate an argument is establishing chemistry between teammates is vital, and Glennon is deserving reward for committing to the team. It’s truly a Catch-22.
Clemson’s Dabo Swinney opted the other way with his two-sport quarterback Kyle Parker last season. Parker’s status was in limbo after the Colorado Rockies drafted him in the first round of last June’s draft. He eventually rejoined the football team, but had a lackluster campaign (12 touchdowns and 11 interceptions). Perhaps uncoincidentally, the Tigers struggled to establish any rhythm and slumped to a sub-.500 finish. Clemson may have taken lumps with the less experienced Tajh Boyd starting from the onset, but in the long run the move may have paid off.
At this juncture though, everything pertaining to Starling and Bradley is speculation. Neither has inked a baseball deal, and probably won’t for weeks. As a Scott Boras client, Starling’s negotiations could be especially painstaking, and should they spill into August would open the door for Bubba in Lincoln. If Taylor Martinez has a late season slide akin to last year’s, Pelini probably wouldn’t be adverse to having the would-be Royal behind center.