Hurricanes left tackle Ereck Flowers, a man of few words, reached out to local recruiting guru Larry Blustein on Tuesday to get out a message. Like star running back Duke Johnson, he too is forgoing his senior season at the University of Miami to enter the NFL Draft.
“I have done everything that I can in college as a football player, and now it’s time to take that next step,” Flowers told Blustein. “I believe this is the best for my family and myself. They had told me I had a second-round grade, but I will really look to raise that bar over the next few months. I am very excited about this next challenge in my life and career.”
The news of Flowers’ departure comes as little surprise. Scouts have said Flowers has the potential to be a first-round pick since November, and ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay projected the 6-6, 324-pound junior as the 12th overall pick in May’s draft. The Hurricanes haven’t had a first-round pick since safety Kenny Phillips was taken 31st overall by the New York Giants in 2008.
“We sat down and looked at everything and felt that this was the best thing for Ereck and our family,” his father, Everald, told Blustein. “After being injured early in the year, he came back and worked harder than ever to get himself back on the field. Right now, we cannot listen to where people are projecting Ereck to go. We have to continue putting ourselves in a position and work hard to get to that next level.”
Flowers had minor surgery to repair a torn meniscus after the Virginia Tech game. He missed the next game but returned and had a stellar performance against Florida State. He has started 29 games in his career at Miami, including 25 of the past 26 at left tackle.
Flowers helped UM’s offense average 430.3 yards and just under 30 points per game.
“I could not be happier for Ereck and his family as he prepares to live out his lifelong dream of playing in the National Football League,” UM coach Al Golden said in a statement. “Ereck has made a lot of sacrifices to put himself in this position. He loves football and the competition. I am really proud of him for the maturity and professionalism he displayed throughout this entire process. He is truly making an educated decision and one that is best for [him] and his family. We wish him nothing but great health, longevity and success.”
Miami Herald sportswriter Susan Miller Degnan contributed to this report.