Though his is the latest name on a long list of standout Bobcat defenders, senior cornerback Deonte Flowers certainly is an outlier. For one thing, he didn’t even start playing tackle football until high school. “Where I grew up, Pop Warner was the the only way to play tackle football as a kid. We didn’t have the money to play football, so I was always out playing basketball instead,” Flowers explained.
This season, the senior has 42 tackles, nine pass breakups and one interception. Flowers commands such respect that most opposing quarterbacks don’t even look his way and try their luck.
The San Diego native grew up in a single parent home. “She did a great job raising me and my siblings,” he said of his mother Yolanda. She was there this past weekend for her son’s Senior Day against Idaho State. Flowers also credits his mom for his deep faith.
“It’s why I play; it’s my faith. Brandon Marshall [wide receiver for the Chicago Bears] always says, ‘Football isn’t who I am, it’s just what I do.’ That’s how I feel. I love the game and I love playing, but really its all about my faith. That’s what motivates me.”
Flowers, despite being one of the Big Sky Conference’s premier cornerbacks, has no aspirations to try his luck in the NFL. “I know it sounds crazy,” he said. “In today’s society, it’s definitely something of an anomaly. I was talking about it with my mom and sister and I just don’t really want to do that.”
Flowers is looking forward to pursuing his other passion after graduation: youth ministry. “One thing people don’t know about me as much is that I want to be a minister. I love playing the game, but I’m looking forward to going a different direction in the future.”
However, that’s not to say that Flowers is ready to give up football quite yet. “We’ve got a lot of football left . . . My favorite part of all of this has been being around the guys and building an awesome relationship. They’re your brothers,” Flowers said of his teammates. “The coaches too, they’re really genuine people. You don’t see that everywhere. Here you’re more than just a football player. Seeing guys like the strength and conditioning coach, Coach Wilcox, he genuinely cares about the guys on the team as people.”
Flowers also sets himself apart academically. Flowers is majoring in mathematics with a concentration in education. Finding that balance between athletics and academics comes down to one word, Flowers says. “Discipline, it’s all about discipline. You know that you’ve got to get it all done. Honestly, Friday and Saturday nights are when I get most of my homework done . . . It sounds kind of weird, but it’s just something that has to get done.”
With a huge showdown looming against the archrival Grizzlies on Nov. 22, Flowers is taking his last regular season game for the Bobcats in stride. “It’s just another week. This game is most important because it’s the next game. We just have to prepare like we have every other week and we’ll be successful. That’s what we’ve been doing and it has worked for us so far. We’re not getting ahead of ourselves.”