Dominique Flower: It felt good, because they're in the Big 12 and everything. I was really happy. I was glad to get the recruiting process over, too. I wasn't stressed out, but there were so many different schools to choose from. They were so big like Iowa State. But I felt Iowa State was the place for me. I'm happy to have that over with and not have that stuff on my mind.
CN: In previous interviews, I can remember you telling me about your basketball season. How did your team finish?
Flower: We almost made it out of district. We lost to a team that shouldn't have beat us that we beat all year, but I had 26 points. I have one more game left and that's the County All Star Game. I'm looking forward to it.
CN: What were your numbers in basketball?
Flower: I was averaging 16 points and five assists a game.
CN: Any thoughts to giving basketball a try at Iowa State, in addition to playing football?
Flower: I have thought about it, but before I start worrying about basketball I need to establish myself as a starter and get a lot of playing time as a football player first. Then once I've done all of that, I may try to walk on to the basketball team.
CN: What do you plan on doing this summer to prepare yourself for the next level?
Flower: It's the same thing I'm doing right now – running, hitting those weights and getting focused. That's all I can do. I need to keep my mind on what I need to do to help the team out.
CN: Are you involved in any sports this spring, or do you have a part-time job?
Flower: I work at a retirement home, which is alright. I wash dishes. A lot of my friends from school work there. I was going to play baseball, but my mom wanted me to get more hours at my job so I can get my money saved up. I'm done for sports until I get to the next level.
CN: It looks as if you were the only Division I football signee in your school. Do you have any good friends from other programs going somewhere?
Flower: Julian Riley from Lakewood went to Florida and Pat Carter went to Georgia Tech. I told them all what was going to happen if we see each other in a bowl game. They know Iowa State's going to put it on them. Florida could probably play with them, but I think Iowa State would beat Georgia Tech pretty bad.
CN: What are your goals for the 2003 football season?
Flower: I'm planning on being a big part of the team. If I start, I'm going to be the Big 12 freshman of the year on defense. That's already my goal. I think about it like this – if I don't start or play that much, that goal can't be achieved.
But if I start and go in there doing my thing and get a lot of playing time, that's my goal. There are only 12 teams and I'm not competing against a whole defense, it's just the freshmen on those teams. If I get into that starting rotation, I think I can do it.
CN: You were lucky enough to have your future position coach as your main recruiter last year. What kind of relationship have your forged with secondary coach Chris Ash?
Flower: It meant a lot to have him recruit me. I'm thankful for a lot of things and thank God first, but Coach Ash really helped me out. He told me that they knew about me for a long time, but my coach messed things up for me at the beginning.
Coach Ash saw me again at all-star practice. They weren't really recruiting a free safety at the time, but after seeing me he really pushed it to Coach Mac. Ash kept pushing it, they saw me on the film and that's when they made the decision to come after me. Coach Ash did a lot for me and I appreciated that. Then to be playing at Iowa State with him coaching me, that's going to make the bond even closer.
CN: What style of player are you at free safety?
Flower: In high school I was like a hitter, but also played wide receiver. I love getting the ball and love hitting also. I'm a rangy free safety with a strong safety's attitude. I didn't have any interceptions in high school as a senior, mainly because everybody respected me. They did a lot of curl routes. I like to be the quarterback on defense.
CN: I thought I'd save the tougher question until the end, so here goes. Is there one experience in your high school career that has best prepared you for Division I football?
Flower: (Long pause) It's hard for me to say, really. Playing in the all-star game would probably be it. My high school program's practice style wasn't hard at all. We came out there and threw the ball around, then went into reps. In the all-star practices, we did a lot of drills that I wasn't used to. Coach Ash was out there watching me. He told me the things we did in those practices were the same exact things they did for DB drills. That was the number one experience in me getting ready for the next level.
CN: When do you plan on reporting to Iowa State?
Flower: Coach Ash called me a few weeks ago and told me they'd like to bring me up there around the first week of August or late July. But the next time we talk, I'm going to have to ask him about something. My birthday is the 26th of July and I don't really want to go up before then. It's my birthday and I'd like to be home for that. I'd like to leave right after the 26th. I'll be 18, so I'll get to go to the clubs and party with my friends.