Oklahoma’s fullback Dimitri Flowers watched the Red River Rivalry every October when he was younger, but he never imagined being a part of it.
He was a Miami fan growing up and said he didn’t have much interest in going to Texas or Oklahoma. But the junior always recognized how big the matchup was, and now that he’s a part of it he appreciates it even more.
In last year’s matchup between the Longhorns and No. 10 Sooners, Flowers scored his first collegiate touchdown.
With 5:18 left in the third quarter, he caught a two-yard pass to cut Oklahoma’s deficit to seven, but the Sooners eventually lost, 24-17. The sting of defeat trumped Flowers’ milestone at first, but it’s special to him nonetheless.
“It wasn’t actually that cool then because we were losing at the time and ended up losing the game,” Flowers said. “But now, I think how lucky I am to score my first touchdown in a rivalry game. It was awesome.”
Flowers grew up in San Antonio, Texas and filled many roles for head coach Glenn Hill at Churchill High School. He was a three-star recruit, ranked the No. 45 athlete in the state by Rivals and earned an AP Class 5A Second-Team All-State selection as a senior. He originally committed to Boise State, but flipped to Oklahoma and graduated early to join the Sooners in Jan. 2014.
“He did so many different things for us, I was worried that film wouldn’t fully project what type of player he was,” Hill said. “He’s such a dynamic player and he did great things on the field for us, but what we loved most was how much he enjoyed playing football. He plays with a passion and has a lot of fun.”
Hill also coached Dimitri’s father, Erik Flowers, in the mid-90’s at Roosevelt High School in San Antonio where they won the 1995 Class 5A Division II state championship.
Erik Flowers was a defensive end and went on to play at Trinity Valley Community College before finishing his collegiate career at Arizona State. He was selected as the No. 24 overall pick in the 2000 NFL draft by Buffalo.
Dimitri Flowers said his father is a big influence in his life and he calls him often to talk about “every little decision.” But Erik Flowers tries to stay out of the way when it comes down to decision time and trusts his son’s choices.
“I’m just here for guidance,” Erik Flowers said. “This is his dream, my dreams are over and done. Every decision is his. It’s good to see him have the opportunity… it’s amazing and a blessing on top of that.”
Dimitri Flowers has done well in his Sooner career, acrruing 222 receiving yards and four touchdowns and earning an All-Big 12 Honorable Mention from conference coaches in 2015. His size, speed and versatility have Hill convinced that Dimitri Flowers can follow in his father’s footsteps and make it to the next level.
“I think the NFL might be more suited for him than college because of his skillset,” Hill said. “I wouldn’t tell Dimitri Flowers he can’t do something, he’d prove you wrong. He just gets better as he plays.”
But before Dimitri Flowers pursues that dream, he must prepare for another battle with Texas. Erik Flowers said he’ll be in the stands supporting his son, and Hill said this is the one game a year his wife, who graduated from Texas, won’t root for the Longhorns.
“It’s going to be almost like a brawl all four quarters,” Dimitri Flowers said. “It’s a pride thing. Everything outside kind of shuts down and both teams just play hard. It’s going to be a fight."