Michigan State has a storied history when it comes to Defensive Backs – from recent cornerbacks like Darqueze Dennard (2014 1st Round pick of the Cincinnati Bengals) or Trae Waynes (2015 1st Round pick of the Minnesota Vikings), all the way to Defensive Coordinator Harlon Barnett, an All-American, and even Head Coach Mark Dantonio.
That lineage is waiting to welcome the next in line, and that could very well be Emmanuel Flowers.
“That means a lot to me because I know that they think I’m good,” Flowers told Spartan Nation in a one-on-one interview. “I think if I go to Michigan State, I can be the next big corner out of there.”
Flowers, a 6’1.5”, 175-pound cornerback out of Chino Hills, CA and Ayala (Ruben S.) High School, was First Team All-League in both 2015 and 2016. He currently has five offers on the table, including one from Michigan State. He’s also weighing offers from San Diego State, San Jose State (which he visited last weekend), UCLA (which he’s visiting next weekend), and Wyoming.
This weekend, though, he’ll be in East Lansing.
“I want to see a family out there, I’m going to major in Business, so I want to see a good business program, and I want to see the schemes and the type of play that they would have me in so I can see if I can see myself playing in that position. And I’d just like to see if I can see myself there,” Flowers explained.
If he were to end up with the Spartans, Emmanuel would find himself in a defensive setup that not all DBs like – on an island alone in press coverage – but Flowers is excited.
“I love that,” Flowers said. “I like to go and just strap down receivers and hold them to no catches, so I would love that.”
But, with Flowers being a west coast guy, and with three of his five offers coming from schools in California, some may question whether or not Michigan State has a legitimate chance of landing one of the top corners in the Class of 2017.
“Oh yes, they do,” Flowers assured. “I have family out there – I have family in Chicago, I have family by Michigan, so that means a lot. The long trip isn’t really anything to me.”
With the distance issue out of the way, now let’s find out what kind of player Flowers is. Although Emmanuel is a seemingly well-mannered, passionate, down-to-earth kid off the field, he’s an aggressive and physical player in between the white lines.
“Yeah, when I get on the football field, it’s like a switch turns on. I’m nice off the field, but when I’m on the football field, I just get in that game mode. It comes with a lot of practice – me and my dad, we used to go out and practice all the time hitting; we have a little hitting bag so we used to do that all the time, and it just transferred to the field,” Flowers said.
But perhaps the element most crucial to Flowers’ love for Michigan State actually has very little to do with the game of football – it has to do with the coaches being men of faith.
“Yes, that actually sparked my attention with them. God has been amazing in this process. I’ve had to have faith, and I like to see that in the coaches, too, so it means a lot to me,” Flowers said.
“I’m a nice guy off the field…a dog on the field. I love God – I’m God-loving and God-fearing. I love to play the game of football, and I’m ready to go,” Flowers said.”
We’ll know much more after his visit to East Lansing this weekend, but it’s very possible that Emmanuel Flowers could choose to bring that passion and love for the game to the Spartans in 2017.