As a standout defensive back at Lincoln High in Tallahassee, Florida, Starling’s high school honors included: Sporting News Top 100, Super Prep All-American, Prep Star All-American, Super Prep All-Dixie and Prep Star All-Southeast. He made 50 tackles in 2008, after a junior season that included 98 tackles, 10 tackles for losses, five forced fumbles and two interceptions. He also played baseball at Lincoln.
Starling saw limited action as a backup free safety and played on special teams as a first-year freshman in 2009. The following year, Starling started USC's first nine games at strong safety as a sophomore in 2010, until his season ended via a strained hamstring. In those nine games, he had 37 tackles, an interception and a pass defended. He also played on the baseball team, and appeared in nine games. In 2011, he started 11 games, and missed one due to an injury. He recorded 48 tackles (3.5 for loss) and two pass deflections. In his senior year, he had 42 tackles, three interceptions and four pass breakups.
Future Hall of Famer
A once-in-a-generation type prospect who could change how his position is played
An impact player with the ability/intangibles to become a Pro Bowl player. Expect to start immediately except in a unique situation (i.e. behind a veteran starter).
A quality player who will contribute to the team early on and is expected to develop into a starter. A reliable player who brings value to the position.
A prospect with the ability to make team as a backup/role player. Needs to be a special teams contributor at applicable positions. Players in the high range of this category might have long-term potential.
A player with solid measurables, intangibles, college achievements, or a developing skill that warrants an opportunity in an NFL camp. In the right situation, he could earn a place on a 53-man roster, but most likely will be a practice squad player or a camp body.