Coming out of high school in Miami, Quinton Flowers said ‘no.’
Heading to the NFL Combine after wrapping his career at the University of South Florida, Flowers repeated his stance, again saying ‘no.’
But after not getting drafted while 13 other quarterbacks heard their names called, Flowers knew it was time to finally say ‘yes’ and he will make the switch from quarterback to running back.
“I got the phone call, and they asked if I was willing to come in as a running back and learn,” said Flowers, one of 10 undrafted free agent signings the Bengals officially announced Friday ahead of the start of the three-day rookie camp.
“They feel I can be a guy that can bring a lot to the team,” Flowers added. “I know I can bring a lot to the team. I just have to prove myself.”
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The 5-foot-10, 214-pound Flowers said he has never played running back at any level. But he has plenty of experience running with the football.
He is the leading rusher in USF history with 3,672 yards, one of 43 school records he set as a three-year starter for the Bulls.
Flowers logged 598 rushes for a 6.1-yard average while scoring 41 touchdowns. He also threw for 8,124 yards and 71 touchdowns while leading USF to a 21-4 record and 20 consecutive weeks in the Top 25 poll the last two seasons.
He had scholarship offers from Alabama, Florida, Nebraska, Miami (Fla.), Tennessee and Cincinnati, among others, but they all wanted him to play running back. So Flowers went to USF to play quarterback.
There were more suggestions for him to change positions heading to the Combine, and Flowers said he considered it. But he ultimately decided to work out as a quarterback.
“I just wanted to do something that I love doing at the Combine,” he said. “I always dreamed of going to the Combine, so I wanted to go there as a quarterback, and that’s what I did. That’s why I went there as a quarterback.”
Flowers insists he is making the switch because he ran of options to play quarterback. He said he truly believes what people have been telling him for years.
“The way I run the ball, the vision I have, it’s the best thing for me,” Flowers said. “God put me in this situation. Me and the Bengals coaches stayed connected through everything, through the whole process, and I just felt that this was the place that God landed me and where I needed to be. I’m a guy that’s big on faith. I believe in faith and God landed me here and I think it’s the best situation for me.”
Learning how to take handoffs rather than give them and how to pick up blocks are two of the biggest hurdles Flowers said he thinks he’ll face. But he’s not waiting to learn those things on the fly on the practice field, especially when the Bengals put him in a locker next to Mark Walton, a running back from Miami (Fla.) who was the team’s fourth-round pick.
“Going into this minicamp I want to learn from the guys that played it a lot and try to get the best advice I can get and translate it to the field,” he said. “It’s going to be a big difference.
“I just want to go out there and get a feel for everything I have to learn, I have to study,” he added. “My coach is teaching me, and I’m learning from guys that played it all their life like Mark Walton, a guy that did it since he was little til now. I’m just learning from him and trying to get advice on how can I be a better player.”