When Aaron Ripkowski arrived in Norman there was little fanfare but now as the former walk-on enters his senior season at Oklahoma Sooners fans have begun to worry about who might replace him. The player who looks set to take on that burden is San Antonio Churchill three-star athlete Dimitri Flowers.
The good news for Oklahoma is that Flowers is already on campus, taking part in classes, and preparing himself to be Oklahoma's next fullback in the line of former standouts under Bob Stoops, J.D. Runnels, Trey Millard.
While many recruits watched the Sugar Bowl with great interest, for Flowers it was watching a group of players he would be joining in a little over a week's time. However, for Flowers it was just the beginning of a meaningful few weeks for the Sooners.
"The Alabama game started all our momentum off, I don't think I've ever been louder watching a college game. I'm just blessed to be a part of it and I live in San Antonio so I went to the All-American game," Flowers explained. "I saw Joe (Mixon) up there.
"I knew that we were one of his tops, and I saw the hats, and when he went for Oklahoma I started freaking out and a lot of people around me knew who I was and everyone was excited."
"I introduced myself to (Mixon) after the game. "
Before he left San Antonio, Flowers enjoyed parties and family gatherings in his honor but admits it all made him more aware of the realities of his early departure in the few weeks leading up to his arrival at Oklahoma.
"I started saying my goodbyes to my close friends, their parents, I mean I know that I'm rarely ever going to see some people again. I know what's ahead of me and it's a once in a lifetime opportunity - I'm not really afraid but it's still amazing," he said.
The San Antonio area and it's youth football has been thrust into the spotlight in recent weeks and it's been well documented that the Texas Youth Football Association was something that Flowers was a part of long before 'Friday Night Tykes' hit the airwaves. Though it wasn't the same group, Flowers recently worked with some youth players in the San Antonio area during a local all-star game.
"It was pretty good it felt good. Once (the kids) found out I was going to Oklahoma - I wasn't like a coach anymore. They asked me a bunch of questions," he said. "My dad got selected as the head coach and he pretty much forced me to do it. It was a fun little experience though."
A coaching future could be there for Flowers, but it's not his current plan.
"I'd have some interest in coaching but only, obviously, if my other plans didn't work out," he laughed.
Those plans include football fame, which is something he is working toward.
"Right now, I'm going up there with the intention - I'm graduating early so I can play this year. If I have to redshirt I will, but I'm going to work and earn my spot and see as much playing time as I can," he explained.
"Of course, going up and trying to live on my own is something I'm looking forward to but in all honesty we have a lot of people coming back and a lot of talent coming, and hopefully we can win a championship."
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