Brandon Flowers developed into one of the elite cornerbacks in college football. He's also regarded as one of the hardest hitters at his position.
A student of the game who spends plenty of time in the film room and is effective in both man and zone coverage.
Flowers' size makes it difficult to believe the impact he puts behind his tackles. He has studied NFL cornerbacks to learn how passing teams attack a secondary.
Last offseason, while reviewing his own game film, Flowers noticed that he looked into the backfield too often before the wide receiver he was assigned to made a cut. Flowers improved his hip rotation and now plants his back foot when a receiver makes a break.
For Flowers, 2007 turned into another All-American campaign. Despite opposing quarterbacks making a determined effort to stay away from Flowers' territory, he still managed to intercept five passes and deflect nine others. His ability to anticipate the quarterback and get a jump on the route saw the boundary cornerback finish his career with 10 interceptions and 32 pass breakups.
At Atlantic High School, Flowers helped his team to a regional title in Class 5A his senior year, beating highly rated Ely High. He intercepted five passes and posted three sacks, as he also blocked a punt and recovered a pair of fumbles. For that performance, he earned first-team All-Area and All-Conference honors. Atlantic High would compile a 36-4 record during his varsity career.
Flowers attended Hargrave Military Academy to improve his academics. He was rated the 18th-best junior college or prep cornerback in the nation by College Football News, as he intercepted three passes as a cornerback.
He enrolled at Virginia Tech in 2004. He did not play in the season opener vs. Southern California, but made a spectacular interception for a 38-yard return the following week vs. Western Michigan. He suffered a fractured right fibula later in the contest and missed the rest of the season.
Flowers returned to action in 2005, starting vs. Marshall while spending the rest of the year behind Jimmy Williams at boundary cornerback. He posted 20 tackles (13 solo) with four pass deflections, 1 ½ stops behind the line of scrimmage and an interception.
In 2006, Flowers took over the boundary cornerback spot, going on to start his final 27 games with the Hokies. He earned All-American second-team and All-Atlantic Coast Conference first-team honors, leading the league with 21 passes defended, breaking up 18 throws and picking off three others. He totaled 51 tackles (29 solo) with 3 ½ sacks and 7 ½ stops for losses. He also caused a fumble and did not allow an opponent to catch any passes in three games. As a junior, Flowers again received All-American and All-ACC recognition. Most quarterbacks steered clear of his area, but Flowers intercepted five passes and broke up nine others in 14 games. He ranked third on the team with 86 tackles (56 solo), including a very impressive eight stops behind the line of scrimmage in 2007. In 41 games at Virginia Tech, Flowers started 28 contests at boundary cornerback, making 158 tackles (99 solo) with 3 ½ sacks for minus-28 yards, 17 stops for losses of 71 yards and six quarterback pressures. He caused and recovered a fumble, deflected 32 passes and intercepted ten others for 172 yards in returns and two touchdowns.
Positives: Compact build, with a well-defined upper and lower body … Has a very strong hand grip, taking advantage of it to deliver a jarring jolt to the receivers in press coverage … Agile with quick feet and good change-of-direction agility … Will get a bit reckless and overpursue, struggling to recover, but he does have the valid speed to stay with the receiver when mirroring … Smart, instinctive player who makes proper reads and knows his responsibilities coming up in run force … Uses his hands with good force to reroute in man coverage and shows explosive hitting ability, squaring his shoulders, staying low in his pads and driving with his legs to impede the ballcarrier's forward progress in outside run support … Has good acceleration planting and driving out of his backpedal and shows good discipline and movement skills, sticking tight with the receivers by using rapid feet in transition, excellent balance and good body control throughout the route progression … When he plays in control, he shows the ability to jump and anticipate the route … Likes to press better than he likes to play off the receiver, but takes his opponent out of rhythm (just needs to recover when he loses position) … Uses both the classic backpedal and shuffle-and-slide technique, but there is no wasted motion coming out of his breaks … Does a nice job of picking up receivers in the zone and is a forceful tackler who takes proper angles in order to spring into his hits … Stays low in his stance, displaying fluid hip swerve and head-turning abilities to track the ball in flight … Can transition and burst to make the play on the ball … Has natural hands and very good lift going up for the ball in traffic, much like a receiver, resulting in more than a fair share of interceptions and pass deflections … Will get burned on a go route when he gets a bit reckless, but will generally stay on the receiver's hip and shadow … Breaks sharply toward the ball and will not shy away from contact near the line of scrimmage … Shows an explosive burst off the edge as a blitzer and is fearless tackling -- his hits stand out on tape … Plays bigger than his size indicates and has no problem selling out to break up the pass … The type of player that usually takes good angles out of his breaks and shows good ability to adjust to the ball on the move (six of his interceptions came over his shoulder) … Adept at avoiding blockers and extends his arms properly to secure the receiver after the catch … Fluid in reverse and excels getting in to break up the slant patterns … Aggressive in run support and has a knack for penetrating the line to get to the ballcarrier, recording more stops behind the line of scrimmage than any other Tech defensive back in memory … Shows very loose hips to turn and run after the ballcarrier when playing along the perimeter … Very active taking on bigger blockers and, even if he gets washed out on the play, he will battle until the whistle … Will break down, face up and wrap to tackle and has the strength to impact playing off the edge and the short-area burst to pressure the pocket when blitzing. Negatives … Plays with total aggression in his game, but gets so caught up in trying to overpower the opponent at times that he fails to properly wrap and secure … Will go vertical to make the tackle, needs to play with better control, as his recklessness leads to several missed tackles … Has good timed speed, but his recovery skills are just adequate, as he gets caught out of position, especially vs. double moves, and takes time to recover … Has good leaping ability, but must work on his timing a bit, as he lost several jump balls he should have won in 2007 … More of a collision-type tackler and when he tries to bite at the ankles, ballcarriers have had success side-stepping … His timed speed does not always translate to the field, especially when a receiver gets behind him (needs to show more consistency using his second gear). Compares To: RONDE BARBER-Tampa Bay … Flowers can get a bit reckless trying to punish receivers, but most prefer an intimidator over a cornerback that tries to sneak up on opponents. Flowers hits hard and shows natural hands to come up with the interception. He is very good at disrupting a receiver's route progression and will deflect a lot of passes. To some, he lacks ideal size, but look Barber has been a successful cornerback and sure tackler despite his frame. Flowers is cut from the same cloth. Some people talk about durability concerns, but that appears to be a non-issue -- he's been on the field for every game since breaking his right leg in 2004.
Injury Report2004: Suffered a right fibular fracture vs. Western Michigan (9/10) and sat out the rest of the season. 2006: Suffered a high ankle sprain vs. Georgia in the Chick-Fil-a Bowl (12/30) and the injury would sideline him throughout 2007 spring camp.
Agility TestsCampus: 4.49 in the 40-yard dash … 300-pound bench press … 435-pound squat … 35 ½-inch vertical jump … 31-inch arm length … 8 5/8-inch hands. Combine: 4.55 in the 40-yard dash … Bench pressed 225 pounds 14 times … 30-inch vertical jump.
High SchoolAttended Atlantic (Delray Beach, Fla.) High School, playing football for head coach Chris Bean … Helped his team to a regional title in Class 5A his senior year, beating highly rated Ely High … Intercepted five passes and posted three quarterback sacks, as he also blocked a punt and recovered a pair of fumbles that year … For that performance, he earned first-team All-Area and All-Conference honors … Atlantic High would compile a 36-4 record during his varsity career.
PersonalSociology major … Son of Patricia and Willie Flowers … Born Brandon Lavar Flowers on 2/18/86 in Delray Beach, Florida.