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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Quarterback Quinton Flowers is USF’s all-time touchdown leader and all-time rushing leader. On Tuesday, the NFL hopeful joined The Joe Rose Show live from the WQAM studios.
“You did it all but sell popcorn,” said co-host Zach Krantz, on Flowers’ career with the South Florida Bulls.
“It was great,” Flowers said, on his time in college. “Just knowing that with everything I went through, I didn’t give up. I continued just doing what my family wanted me to do, and just trying to be the best that I can be on and off the field. I know there are a lot of kids out there who look up to me, so I always try to put myself in the best position to be a good role model to the kids.”
Flowers is beyond proven in the department of overcoming adversity. His personal story is one of both tragedy and triumph.
The tragedy began at age seven, when Flowers’ father was killed in a drive-by shooting. His mother lost a fight with cancer in 2012. Then in 2014, on the week of his first career start at USF, his stepbrother was shot and killed. In September, he lost a beloved aunt to a heart attack.
Flowers’ family lives in Miami. The former Miami Jackson High standout was on campus in Tampa when he got the call about his brother’s murder.
“It was very tough knowing that you are a couple hours away from your family. You get that one (phone) call you don’t want to hear. You just always try to stay positive. I feel like if they were here, the things they want me to do, I’m doing them now. I’m playing for them: my brother, my mom, my dad, and my aunt. I’m just playing for them and I just continue to be myself. I know if they were here and I was doing anything bad, they wouldn’t like it. I just always put myself in a position to where I have a feeling they are still here.
“I still get times where, when I’m by myself, I feel like my mom is sitting next to me, talking to me,” Flowers said. “I just always try to think positive and stay positive.”
Flowers said he leans on his older sister and his former high school coach for emotional support. “My sister tells me to pray and stay positive. I always tell her that she’s the MVP for that.”
Teammates at USF were also a big help.
“Each and every guy in that locker room told me I can lean on them. They each came to me and told me, ‘I will always be your brother.'”
Despite so much heartache, Flowers found triumph on the football field. In a wonderful college career, he threw for 71 touchdowns and ran for 41 more.
When he chose to commit to USF, the team was 2-8. When asked why he would choose South Florida over a more traditional football power, Flowers always said “I want to start my own legacy.”
“It’s time for people to open their eyes and not just follow the big schools,” said Flowers.
Now, Flowers moves full speed ahead to NFL draft season, looking to make new legacy at the pro level. As a dual threat quarterback, he may be asked by scouts and coaches if he’s able to play other positions outside of quarterback.
“Quarterback is my primary. I’ve been doing it all my life, but at the end of the day I need to do what I can do to help a team… whatever my coach needs me to do. In high school I played a little safety and a little slot (receiver). But my first thing is quarterback. All my life, people doubted me. People said I couldn’t do it and I did it in high school and did it in college. I just need a chance.”
Flowers is currently projected as a potential seventh round pick or undrafted free agent. The upcoming NFL Scouting Combine will offer a great opportunity to raise his stock.
So far, Flowers has made the most of every chance he’s been given in life.
From success on the field to tragedy off of it, Flowers has emerged humble, motivated, and eager for the next step.
You can listen to the full interview with Quinton Flowers on the Joe Rose Show at the top of this page.