I'd love to know what Jimbo Fisher really thinks of Texas A&M Nick Starkel so far
To say that Nick Starkel has had an interesting offseason so far would be like saying Mike Leach isn’t your average coach.
Well, as we’re finding out seemingly by the week, Starkel isn’t your average SEC quarterback.
First, it was the old “use social media to get a date” bit. That was all just innocent college fun, and according to Starkel’s Twitter account, he did end up getting ice cream with Lindsey from Hullabaloo Diner. There’s nothing wrong with a guy using social media to find a girl he liked (even if Johnny Manziel made fun of him for it). For all we know, it’ll end up being Starkel’s wife and he’ll have an odd story to tell his kids.
Then, we saw the Texas A&M quarterback take it to another level when he tried to use his platform to connect with another person who caught his eye. That is, Justin Bieber, of course.
If you haven’t watched Starkel try and lip sync his way to a meeting with the famous pop star by now, feel free to close your eyes at any point that this gets too awkward:
— Nicholas Starkel (@NickStarkel) February 25, 2018
If all goes according to plan, Starkel will spend his spring break in Los Angeles by appearing on the Ellen DeGeneres Show and eventually meeting his boy, Biebs. Considering we’re only 2 months into the offseason, the odds that we see more viral moments from Starkel are high.
I just can’t help but wonder how Jimbo Fisher is taking this all in.
What in the world is the new Texas A&M coach thinking about the soon-to-be sophomore quarterback? Nobody is saying that he’s having a Manziel-like offseason so far, but at the very least, though, Starkel is making an atypical first impression.
It has to be different from the one he made a couple months ago when he threw for 499 yards and 4 touchdown passes in the Belk Bowl. Sure, he had to throw the ball 63 times and the Aggies still lost, but Starkel appeared to make a serious early statement in the quarterback battle in College Station.
Let’s not forget that while Starkel replaced Kellen Mond after returning from injury, this battle truly is wide open. Fisher doesn’t have to play favorites, and he could decided to wipe the slate completely clean.
Let’s also not forget that Fisher holds his quarterbacks to an extremely high standard. He’s been known to ride his signal-callers like few do. Part of the reason Fisher gets so much credit for being a quarterback guru is that he breaks them down and gets them to the NFL. Well, and hopefully they win him some games in the process.
Starkel isn’t Manziel and he isn’t Jameis Winston, on or off the field. It was Winston who was the subject of a rape investigation, as well as a shoplifting incident. And of course, there was the time he stood on a table in the Florida State Student Union and yelled a profane internet meme that earned him a whopping one-game suspension from Fisher.
Perhaps it was Winston’s play on the field that earned him a slap on the wrist from Fisher. After all, that was months after he won Fisher a national title.
Because of his stunts, Winston became an easy target for FSU and opposing fans alike. Starkel, as I mentioned earlier, is not Winston. At all. He is, however, an easy target for A&M fans if he underwhelms on the field because of his off-field actions. You could get a whole lot of comments like “he should’ve been studying the playbook more instead of hunting down diner waitresses and Bieber.”
Nobody is telling Starkel that he needs to stop being a college kid. If he wants to keep wearing the Bieber cutoff short under his jersey, by all means. Starting college quarterbacks at big-time programs are allowed to have personalities.
But I’d be curious to know what an unfiltered response from Fisher would look like if he were asked about what he thought of Starkel. You know, different from the response he gave during the ESPN broadcast of the Belk Bowl.
“I like him. Big guy, can make throws, processes information well, can reach all parts of the field with his throws,” Fisher said, “and I think he has a really bright future.”
Fisher all called Starkel a “film room junkie” and added that he thinks he understands the “whys of the game,” which is key for a quarterback.
Maybe Fisher will explain to Starkel why it might not be the best idea to spend the offseason using social media to find girls and track down celebrities. Maybe Fisher will explain why as long as Starkel produces on the field, he can do any law-abiding/NCAA-abiding activity he so chooses, no matter how sophomoric it is.
This is a new era in a new place for Fisher. Perhaps he’ll apply a new school of thinking for situations in College Station than he did in Tallahassee. Whatever the case, Starkel is certainly a new type of character for Fisher to manage.
Only time will tell if Starkel puts the same amount of effort into impressing his new coach as he does to impressing Bieber.