Hello: Hakeem Flowers

Tim Sullivan from MGoBlog here. This site appears to be mostly basketball-oriented, but in case anyone cares about football recruiting, the Wolfpack got a commitment form SC WR Hakeem Flowers yesterday. Since he was also considering Michigan, I've got a bit written up on him (though it's incomplete since I had a feeling he wouldn't pick the Wolverines). Enjoy:



Scout Rivals ESPN
3*, #110 WR 3*, 5.6, #87 WR 4*, 80, #29 WR


The three sites are in radical disagreement on Flowers's overall ability, so let's look at who seems the most right. The consensus has him at 6-2, and just under 180 pounds. Starting with ESPN:

Flowers is a tall, lanky wide receiver that is a long strider and with very good hands, toughness and playmaking ability. He is an elusive glider with long arms and makes for a large target with a wide catch radius... He has good height and can present some mismatch problems. He is a natural hand catcher with soft, reliable hands. Big target that is smart and can find open areas vs. zone coverage... He has a lot of big-play flair to him-- when matched-up one on one, he can win the jump ball.

That... doesn't sounds bad at all. Why come the low ratings?

He is one of those prospects that does many things well, but you just wish he were faster... He is not real physical yet, but he is willing to go inside and catch in traffic... However, Flowers despite his size and elusiveness lacks top end speed and sudden change-of-direction skills. He can win on vertical routes because of his size and ability to attack the ball and he has very good instincts, but we are concerned that at the next level he lacks the second gear and speed to get over the top of faster, quicker DB's and as a result may end up being more of a possession-type that is exciting and reliable.

So, he's got good speed, but less than optimal, and he has to bulk up in the weight room before he'll be ready to contribute at the next level.

Scout has more breakdowns of his game:

Physically, Hakeem Flowers has all the tools to be a top flight prospect. College coaches will love his height and athleticism. Hakeem is also a track star and he shows that speed on the football field as well, especially considering his long stride and top end speed.

"Track star" certainly seems to imply that he's not a slowpoke, but as a long-strider, top-end speed is probably better than quickness. More on his speed from his coach:

Flowers has "blazing speed" according to his coach and has run a 10.4 100 meters. "He's tall enough and big enough to go get the ball," Haltiwanger said. "He has great hands, big hands."

10.4 100m is no joke. Flowers himself:

Flowers: "I’m able to go up and get the ball. I’m very aggressive and play hard. I have good size too, so I’m able to go over the defensive back and get the ball. I still want to improve my route-running. You can never run the perfect route. I’m also working on my footwork and technique."

Palmetto Football Plus also talked with Flowers:

I think my biggest asset is just being able to get the ball when my team needs it and to make some plays... I like to work on my route running and running better routes. I believe, as a receiver, you can always run better routes...

PFP: What kind of player and person will you be to the school that gets your services?
HF: They will get a dedicated player who wants to go out and fight for a position and a player that also likes to have fun.

At one point, Tom Lemming called him the #52 prospect in the entire country, and prior to his senior season, Maxpreps said he was one of the top 25 receivers in the country. Flowers seems to have a skill set that matches well with Michigan's new coaching staff. They look to get the ball downfield to big, leaping wideouts, much like Lloyd Carr's staff did.

Greenville TV station on the kid:

Flowers came out of nowhere last summer when he made good impressions at several ACC and SEC football camps... Flowers is 6 feet 2 inches with nice speed, not to mention a 3.4 GPA.

And USA Football, which selected him to their Under-19 team:

Flowers is an all-around talent with strong skills at running routes, getting separation and catching the ball.


Now that the so-called "experts" have weighed in on how good the kid is, how about the coaches, who are actually likely to lose their jobs if they do a bad job evaluating these kids?

Flowers has over 30 offers, from the likes of LSU, Georgia Tech, Oregon, and UCLA, in addition to Auburn, BYU, Cincinnati, Florida State, Miami (YTM), Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, and Tennessee. And Texas (which Burnt Orange Nation confirms)! Note that many of those schools run spread offenses with a heavy emphasis on team speed, especially Oregon, Cincinnati, Missouri, and Oklahoma State.

This is not the offer sheet of the 110th-best wide receiver in the nation. Scout is wrong, and Rivals probably is, too. ESPN seems to be the much better gauge of his talent in terms of what BCS-level schools want (not just for this guy - and Scout has shown itself to be by far the worst, again not just for this guy).

There was a question among South Carolina boards as to why neither in-state school offered him, but an expressed desire to go out of state ($, info in header) meant that he didn't go to their junior days or camps, and they didn't feel the need to offer a guy who wasn't showing interest in them.


Scout has junior and senior stats:

Flowers finished his junior season with 50 catches for around 800 yards and 10 touchdowns. He says he can bench 225-pounds, squat 375 and claims a 38-inch vertical jump.

Final senior (9-2) stats: 50 catches for 1,000 yards and nine touchdowns

That senior season included a scary game where he was temporarily paralyzed, but there were no long-term effects.


Scout is the only premium site with a listed 40 time, giving out a generic 4.50 number. Since they seem dead set on pegging the guy as "slow," I'll give it four FAKEs out of five. He notched a 4.5 at Florida State's camp prior to his junior year.

Given that the scouting reports essentially say "perfect, except he's too slow," you may find it curious that 31 wideouts ranked ahead of him are listed with slower times on Scout, and another 18 are listed with the exact same time. Of course, he ran a 4.85 at the Army Junior Combine, but one of the fastest recruits in the county, Damiere Byrd, ran the best time at 4.55 (he's listed in the 4.2s on Scout) on a notoriously slow track in San Antonio, and Flowers was coming off a separated shoulder in his junior season.

He'll never be known as a "speed guy" at the next level, but slow he ain't. There's a CockyTalk thread about him that's primarily consisting of "hey he's faster than that."


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