UK's Flowers no longer thinks he has the 'write' stuff

October 01, 2003|LARRY VAUGHT

LEXINGTON - Earven Flowers came to Kentucky wanting to be a football player and sportswriter.

While he's not changed his mind about his athletic career, he certainly has had a change of heart about his professional aspirations.

"Since I've got older, I've changed my career goals some," said Flowers. "I realized sports writing might be a little more difficult than I thought. Now I'm looking more along the lines of coaching one day. Journalism is just a little too hard."

Fortunately for Kentucky, Flowers has not found the adjustment to defensive coordinator Mike Archer's system as hard this year. He was moved to cornerback last spring after playing every position in the UK secondary in 2002


"I am a cornerback at heart and that's what I came here as," Flowers said. "In our defense, the cornerback is sort of like a safety. I get to roam the field some. I am fine with the move to cornerback. Whatever it took to help the team, that was fine with me."

"He's been a very productive player for us," Archer said. "We liked the way he covered and he's not disappointed us with his play."

His uncle, Larry Flowers, played for the New York Giants. He grew up, like many Texas athletes, dreaming of playing college football and turned down offers from Oklahoma State and Missouri to sign with Kentucky in 2000.

However, he also had one other dream.

"I always wanted to be a journalist," Flowers said. "I was part of a journalism team in my high school and I really liked it. Then I got here and it was like, I might prefer to coach instead. It just clicked with me. I think I can help players like a lot of coaches have helped me.

"It's not that I don't like journalism. I just realized it might not be for me. Sometimes I am a shy person and I don't like to come out of my shell. I would rather coach and be on the sidelines."

If he does coach, he certainly should be aware of how to deal with the media.

"I read a lot. The first thing I ever read when I was younger was a newspaper," Flowers said. "I read on the Internet all the time. I'm sort of into the media.

"Sometimes I critique how the media covers our team. I realized I didn't want to be like that. I don't want to have to be so negative. I would prefer to coach. I can't be a good guy one day and a bad guy the next like a lot of writers either are or have to be."

Flowers thinks experiences like the ones he's had at Kentucky will help make him a successful coach. He even believes he learned valuable lessons in the 24-21 loss to Florida last week when UK blew a 21-3 lead in the fourth quarter.

"I've taken a lot of things from the coaches who have coached me. I know a lot about football," Flowers said. "But the coaches have helped me learn more than football. We've been through a lot here and they've helped me see how you can help players off the field as well as on it.

"I've learned a lot about football here, and become a better player. But more importantly, I've learned a lot of life lessons that are going to help me later no matter what I do."

Recruiting needs: As Kentucky coach Rich Brooks and his staff take advantage of this week's open date to recruit, the head coach made it clear what his recruiting philosophy will be between now and signing date in February.

"If you are going to err in recruiting, you want to err in two ways," Brooks said. "You don't want to err on being slow and small. It's not hard to recruit better speed. That does not always equate to better players, but we want big and fast players. That's what we have to have to compete against who we play."

Larry Vaught can be reached at

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