Nothing but Flowers

Thomas Flowers was 2nd in the SEC and 14th in the nation in punt return average last season. His 54-yard return for a touchdown in the 4th quarter vs Tennessee helped put away the Vols for good. This season he is also listed as one of the starting cornerbacks. Is he up to the challenge? You bet he is, and he tells me why.

Dave McMahon -- How has this summer been?

Thomas Flowers -- It has been good. I am training a lot. I am also taking a few classes. I go home to Atlanta at times. I see my family and kick it with some of my old buddies.

DM -- You are currently penciled in as the starter at one cornerback side, but there is some pressure from some of the young guys... you have to keep being on top of your game, don't you?

TF -- You always have to be motivated. You always have to accept competition and do your best.

DM -- What did you learn from DeMario Minter and Tim Jennings?

TF -- I learned a lot of how they prepared for a game. How they studied their opponent. They would set a good example for the rest the team.

DM -- Who is the toughest receiver to go against in practice?

TF -- I cover on the wide side, so there are a lot of good receivers. For example, Kenneth Harris, Mikey Henderson and Sean Bailey. They all bring something different to the table. Kenneth is a big guy, Mikey is quick as a cat and Sean is very smooth. I think it helps me that I practice against all different types.

DM -- Tell me about Coach Willie Martinez...

TF -- He is tough, but he is fair. He gives constructive criticism to us. When he yells at you, you have to understand that he is trying to make you better. When I was younger I didn't understand and I can tell some of the current younger guys don't understand, but they will, like I did.

DM -- How much do you enjoy punt returning?

TF -- I love it. I was a running back in high school and I got the ball a lot. Being the punt returner gives me a chance to get the ball again. I really like being the punt returner on away games and hearing the crowd boo or go silent if you change the momentum of the game. It feels real good.

DM -- Speaking of road games, that was a big return you had last year at Tennessee, take me back...

TF -- I think about bringing it back every time I am back there. I love making people miss. The play happened so fast, I didn't have time to think. I just took off and kept running and when I reached the endzone I heard the fans boo and then a few seconds later I felt my teammates jumping on me. It was great and I will never forget it.

DM -- Thank you for your time and maybe you will get a special teams touchdown and a defensive touchdown this year.

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