Routinely and unjustifiably overlooked, there is no denying the exceptional abilities of one of college football’s finest talents in South Florida’s returning senior quarterback Quinton Flowers, an unheralded name to watch with the 2018 NFL Draft in mind.
A bona-fide scoring machine, dual-threat quarterback of the South Florida Bulls is a sure-fire Heisman Trophy candidate, who can destroy opponents with his ability as a passer as much as his god-given athletic gifts.
In fact, Flowers could have exited the Bulls this past spring for the lure of the NFL, on the back of leading then head coach Willie Taggart’s team to a share of the American Athletic Conference East Division title (with Matt Rhule’s Temple Owls). With a divisional title in hand, Flowers emerged as one of the country’s most devastating talents, having amassed an incredible 42 total touchdowns (24 passing, 18 on the ground), while passing for a career best 2,812 yards and rushing for a further 1,530 having formed one of America’s most devastating and dynamic duo with now Indianapolis Colts running back Marlon Mack (5th best rush offence in college football 2016/17).
You’d be right to assume it as job done? Not for the Miami native and former Miami Jackson High School star. Make no mistake, the true senior still has unfinished business in leading the impressively talented South Florida program to a conference championship in new head coach Charlie Strong’s maiden campaign in Tampa.
While he would dearly love to be crowned a Heisman Trophy winner, the lure of leading out the Bulls in his fourth year in Atlanta’s brand new Mercedes Benz Stadium as the ‘Group of Five’ representative (Western Michigan last season) in the Peach Bowl, has him with the bit between his teeth this season.
A fantastic athlete, with the movement ability akin to that of a ‘Techmobowl’ star, who when decides to keep the ball, simply accelerates with outstanding speed to eat up chunks of yardage with ease, computer game-esque. He does possess a tendency to scramble too readily now and again, but is a dangerous driver of the option whose instant burst and acceleration, with dynamic juking ability, balance and ankle flexibility, allow him to dart and weave to avoid contact at will with an instant change of direction.
Flowers continually catches my eye with his effortless arm strength, akin to that of Patrick Mahomes when scouting him a year ago. The ball fires out quickly with a simple flick of the wrist that can reach any part of the field, without any noticeable ‘wind up’, with the outstanding athleticism to take the option and keep the ball and the sheer speed to take off in an instant make him tough to take your eyes from.
Having led the dangerous, high powered Bulls to the American Athletic East Division title a season ago, there seems little to stop either the man himself or the team this season, having already to date raced to a 3-0 record, spearheading an offence averaging 40 points per contest in that time. Although the 2017/18 campaign is in its embryonic stages, the Heisman Trophy contender has already thrown for 678 yards, rushed a further 243, scoring a combined 10 touchdowns. Below, he demonstrates the patience, poise and touch to his throws with the back shoulder fade during last weekend’s defeat of Love Smith’s Illinois.
— SoFloBulls (@SoFloBulls) September 16, 2017
However, one note of caution are the two interceptions the senior has tossed so far, one coming in the road win over FCS Stony Brook and the latest in the destruction of Illinois. While neither have hurt his team, I expect a greater accuracy to his passing as the 2017/18 campaign progresses, having completed just 56% of his throws so far.
However it is very early days and he is nevertheless playing at a very high level once again, particularly with his legs where the shackles have been removed as a rusher, having already carried the ball a mere 61 times, surely eclipsing his career high junior campaign total of 191 last year.
With the race for the American Athletic Conference, representative of the ‘Group of Five’ and the Heisman Trophy all on the horizon, it could be a season to cherish for this outstanding talent and an absorbing storyline to watch for the Miami native, with his entry to the 2018 NFL Draft far ahead on the horizon. If you want a Heisman Trophy name to watch, Quinton Flowers is one to focus your attention.
⇒ Next Up: Vs Central Florida
⇒ Cover Image: Jonathan Dyer/USA Today Sports
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