Flowers making strong first impression

How quickly things can change as Dimitri Flowers is setting himself up for a great start to his career at OU.

Four months ago Oklahoma freshman Dimitri Flowers was finally taking his first trip to Norman to see the campus. Now with all the praise that has come his way, there is talk of him actually contributing as a true freshman.

How did this all happen?

"We're elated about Dimitri," coach Bob Stoops said. "He's very natural and a very good athlete. He has the size similar to Trey Millard. He has shown every indication that he'll be ready for the fall."

Heading into November the search was still on for the Sooners to find who they thought could best replace Millard. A fullback was needed and needed in a bad way.

Not just a fullback, though. You're undercutting what Millard meant to OU if you try to pigeonhole him into one position. He almost literally did it all for the Sooners.

OU moved its attention toward Flowers from San Antonio Churchill. At the time he was committed to Boise State, but the offer from the Sooners quickly made things interesting.

In the span of a week in early November, Flowers went from being a Bronco commit to decommitting and pledging to OU despite having never seen the campus.

He took his official visit for banquet weekend in mid-December. And he didn't have too much time to soak it all in because less than a month later, he was in Norman for good.

The only other high school early enrollee is at quarterback with Scout 300 prospect Justice Hansen. The reports on Hansen are the usual when you start talking about a quarterback trying to make the transition. It's good for Hansen to get the reps, but he's obviously not quite ready for primetime yet.

Flowers, from all indications, very well could be. It's not OU shoehorning him in because it wants another Millard-like presence out there. For a coaching staff that isn't quick to praise true freshmen once they hit campus, the coaches haven't been shy with glowing words for Flowers.

"Dimitri is a very versatile kid and a real smart kid," co-offensive coordinator Jay Norvell said. "He's able to do a lot of things. He's a very natural receiver and has ability to adjust in space. You can play him on the edge or the backfield, which is something we need. He does certain things naturally in space which you get excited about as a coach."

Stoops mentioned a sequence late in practice Wednesday when fullback Aaron Ripkowski had to leave practice early. Flowers came right in with the first team offense and didn't miss a beat as the team drove down the field.

OU tight ends coach Jay Boulware was quick to credit the style of football Flowers played in high school as a reason for his success. The San Antonio area produces great talent and has tremendous coaches with a great understanding of the game.

The transition for someone like Flowers is a little easier because of all the preparation he received in high schools.

When asked who has impressed most, the thought was Boulware would talk about Taylor McNamara or maybe Blake Bell. Instead he didn't hesitate to rattle off Flowers' name.

"He's played on the line of scrimmage, played in the backfield, and he's played at wide receiver," Boulware said. "He has receiving skills that are exceptional. We're still working on his route running and that's getting better and better every day. I've been very pleased with him and where he's come along."

Flowers said part of the reason he changed from Boise State to OU was because it was a lot closer to home so his family could come watch him play. With the way he's performing, that opportunity is going to come a lot sooner than almost everybody anticipated.

Sooners Illustrated Top Stories