High School Football | Miami Jackson

Talents ready to bloom at Miami Jackson


Special to The Miami Herald

When a person reaches superstar status, his or her name usually gets abbreviated into a nickname easy enough to garner wide recognition.

Shaq, Bron, D-Wade, and The Playmaker are easily identifiable nicknames in sports.

Miami Jackson has a player that is steadily rising to that level of stardom in junior quarterback Quinton Flowers — or as he increasingly becoming known as just “Winky”.

Flowers, who was an All-Dade performer in 2011, enters the 2012 season as arguably the best quarterback in South Florida and one of the best in the nation for the Class of 2014.

Generals head coach, Antonio “De-La” Brown, who has coached Winky since he was 9 years old, said Flowers’ development to this point has been nothing short of amazing.

“When he was a freshman, he was Quinton ’Winky’ Flowers, then he showed what he could do and he became Winky Flowers,” Brown said. “After this year he’ll probably be just Winky, and by the time he graduates, he’ll just be Wink.

“He’s put in the hard work and really takes his craft seriously. He’s right on track in terms of his overall development. He’s getting that veteran swag — being able to stay cool under pressure,” Brown added.

Flowers, who benefited from playing with his older brother Nathaniel “Fat Cat” Flowers last season, received the nickname from his mother, who died, and it has stuck and is quickly becoming more popular.

Last season Flowers, who grew during the summer and will be listed at 6-1, 195 pounds this season, accounted for nearly 3,200 yards of total offense (jnearly 2,500 passing) and racked up 33 total touchdowns. It was enough to get the Generals to the second round of the playoffs, but not enough to overcome district rival Norland and longtime neighborhood rival Northwestern.

There was another one-name star who dominated district 16-5A last season in Norland’s Randy “Duke” Johnson, who led the Vikings to two big victories over the Generals en route to the Class 5A state title. Since Duke has taken his act to Coral Gables with the Hurricanes, the district is wide open — with many pegging Jackson the favorite.

Brown knows his team’s success will hinge in part with Flowers’ success.

“He’s a major factor in our offense,” Brown said. “But we’ve put a lot of great skill-position guys around him. So Winky can just distribute the ball and let those guys make plays — because they can. Then, when we do call Winky’s number, the defense won’t be able to key on him because we so many playmakers.”

Miami Herald recruiting analyst Larry Blustein has compared Winky to another quarterback with a catchy nickname.

“I’ve been telling everyone he can be the next RGIII,” Blustein said, comparing Flowers to Heisman Trophy winner and Washington Redskins rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III. “While he may not be a hurdler like Griffin was, he’s fast and he definitely has the arm to be a big-time college quarterback.”

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