Now the Bubba Starling Watch really begins

Bo Pelini and the Nebraska Cornhuskers have an even bigger sales job to perform now after top Class of 2011 quarterback recruit Bubba Starling was selected by his hometown Kansas City Royals on Monday in Major League Baseball's Amateur Draft.

As discussed in this column throughout the offseason, the dual-threat signal caller has a tough decision to make when it comes to his athletic career. Ranked by Baseball America as its top high school baseball prospect, Starling was always projected to go high in the MLB draft. But complicating matters for the Huskers even more now is that his hometown Royals made him a first-round selection -- Starling is from nearby Gardner, Kan. He will likely be offered a contract worth millions of dollars and he is represented by tough negotiator Scott Boras.

While the quarterback and outfielder said back in May that he will be on campus to begin classes on July 10, will he be in Lincoln for fall camp?

The deadline for MLB teams to sign a player who is drafted this summer is Aug. 15. If Starling opts not to sign a baseball contract, he is expected to put his pro baseball career on hold and focus on football and baseball in Lincoln. He could sign a baseball contract and play football-only at Nebraska, although that’s unlikely. The other scenario is to play pro baseball and come back to play football in a few years if he decides the diamond isn’t for him.

The 6-5, 195-pounder remains an intriguing football talent. During his senior season, Starling rushed for 2,417 yards — not shocking considering his 4.4 time in the 40-yard dash. He also has a good enough arm to be a true passing threat, and he has the moxie necessary to be a real leader on the gridiron.

But will we ever see him on the field at Memorial Stadium?

Meanwhile, not too long ago the Royals passed 12 times on local product Albert Pujols, who was finally selected by the rival St. Louis Cardinals. Apparently Kansas City's brass was not going to miss on a local product this time around.

Email dave.miller@nationalfootballpost.com or follow me on Twitter at Miller_Dave

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