Some coaches might be turned off by a high school recruit not playing their season season, but there is nothing the UA coaches don’t like about Demetrius Flannigan.
A late bloomer, Flannigan burst onto the state wide scene during his junior season. Before his recruitment could blow up, which seemed a distinct possibility, Arizona made a concerted effort to procure a commitment from the talented Marana (Ariz.) Mountain View defensive back.
“Arizona was the first big school that came after me and you just tell that the coaches wanted me to become a Wildcat really bad," Flannigan said.
"They contacted me as much as possible and they said I had some stuff that you can’t teach. It really was an easy decision for me.”
Coming from one of the more renowned athletic families in recent Tucson history, Flannigan’s athletic prowess was evident at an early age.
“I’ve got good athletes on both sides of my family," he said. "A few different guys who played college ball and kept me involved in football.”
By the time Flannigan hit 6-foot-2, it was apparent he was a prospect.
“I noticed my sophomore season at Santa Rita that I was able to move faster than guys smaller than me, but my size really helped," Flannigan said. "I think that showed by the time I was a junior at Tucson High.
“I don’t ever want to get beat, but if I do I have the ability to get back if that does happen. I’m getting stronger and that allows me to do more. Arizona runs a bunch of defensive backs and it helps to be able to do a bunch of different things.”
When it became apparent that Flannigan wouldn’t be eligible to play his senior season at Mountain View, he took his strength training to the next level.
“Like I said, I have people around me that know what I need to do," he said. "Whether it’s sprinting and doing resistance training or lifting weights in the way that adds strength and endurance, I’m doing it.”
Regardless of how his career unfolds, Flannigan knows the UA coaches have faith in his abilities.
“It means a lot that the coaches were with me this entire time," he said. "They were always in my corner. Not being able to play this past season was really frustrating, but it’s all for the best.
"I was able to work out hard and train like I was playing, and anyone that knows me knows I work hard. It’s still not quite the same as playing. I’m excited to get back out on the field and represent Tucson though.”