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Flowers blossoms at Central

A transfer from Jefferson, he has brought skill, knowledge to the receiving corps.

By FRANK PASTOR
Published September 5, 2003

BROOKSVILLE - From the day Jeremy Flowers arrived at Central, coach John Wilkinson could tell the junior split end had some athletic ability.

But it was Flowers' knowledge of the game that separated him from the garden-variety receiver.

Early in fall practice, he was sent on a hitch, or short hook, route. When a defensive back jumped the route, Flowers instinctively broke to the outside and switched to a fade.

"Right off the bat, we knew he knew what he was doing and was going to help us out tremendously," Wilkinson said.

A converted quarterback who transferred from Jefferson, Flowers hopes to help resuscitate Central's long-dormant passing game, beginning with tonight's opener at Citrus.

"Coming into the season, definitely a big question mark was who was going to be our receivers," Wilkinson said. "We contemplated what we were going to do either way and were just lucky he showed up.

"He'll definitely allow us to move people around and spread people out and do some of the things we like to do."

The sure-handed Flowers proved himself in the preseason classic, catching three passes for 75 yards, including a 36-yarder, and returning a punt 32 yards in a 23-14 victory over St. Petersburg Catholic, a Class 2A playoff team last season.

That performance, coupled with his strong showings in practice, allowed the 6-foot, 185-pound receiver to acclimate quickly.

Flowers moved from Town N' Country to Hernando Beach because his parents were looking for a more peaceful environment.

"My family was tired of living in Tampa," Flowers said. "We wanted to get somewhere where it's quiet. I guess that's what brought us out here."

Flowers spent the summer helping his parents prepare their house to be sold and was moving into his new home the weekend before the first day of school. Since his paperwork was not yet in order, he could not begin practicing until the second week of the preseason.

He quickly made up for lost time.

"My physical level has been a little bit low because I didn't come to (offseason) practice," Flowers said. "I had no idea I was going to play this next year, since we moved. I'm trying to pick up my pace and get back in shape. It's been going real good."

Flowers was a junior varsity quarterback as a sophomore at Jefferson before being called up to varsity late in the season. He stayed with the varsity in the spring but was disappointed he didn't get more playing time in the spring game.

Despite that, it was not easy for Flowers to leave a Jefferson squad that lost in the state Class 4A final a year ago.

"It's a great team," Flowers said. "They've got a great program over there. That's what high school football is to the top right there."

Flowers said he thinks he has found a home at Central.

"Players told me the passing game has really been down, so I'm hoping I can step it up for them," he said. "So far, our last game, it looks like we've been doing that."

- Frank Pastor can be reached at 800 333-7505, ext. 1430. Send e-mail to pastor@sptimes.com

[Last modified September 5, 2003, 04:53:59]


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