Q&A with Miami Offensive Tackle Ereck Flowers

Q. Briefly describe your journey to this point. Where did you grow up and how did you first get into playing football?
EF: I’m originally from Kansas, but I moved down to Miami when I was six. I went to high school in Miami Norland, and I played ball with Duke (Johnson). We went to high school together and then we moved on and played together in college at Miami.

I actually started playing basketball first, but I didn’t see a future in that so I went on to play football my junior year.

Q. What led you to the University of Miami?
EF: I grew up watching Miami, and my dad was a fan. I had season tickets before I even played there, so when I got my opportunity to play there it was an easy decision to make.

Q. Was there any specific reason you ended up playing on the offensive line?
EF: I initially wanted to play defensive line, but my coach needed someone to play offensive line and I was the biggest person on the team so he put me there.

Q. How does your basketball background help you play the left tackle position?
EF: It helped me a lot with my feet and overall athleticism.

Q. With the college season over, what do these next few months look like for you as you prepare for the NFL Draft?
EF: I’ve been training with a few of my teammates at Bommarito. We’re there from 6:30 am to 4:00 pm every day, except Sundays. We’re there every day just preparing for each event–the Combine, the Pro Day, and the Draft.

Q. Is there a specific part of your game you’re working on improving?
EF: I’m really just trying to improve my overall game. I want to work on my hands a lot more. I want to work on my technique and really improve on it.

Q. Many draft analysts have you rated as one of the top offensive tackles in this year’s class. For people who may have not watched you at Miami, define your game for us.
EF: I’m a pretty well-rounded offensive lineman. I love to run block, as well as pass block. I have pretty decent athleticism, especially when it comes to hooking guys on the edge. I play with a lot of passion and heart when it comes to playing in this game.

Q. Watching you at Miami, one game that stands out to me is your performance against Florida State where you shutout Mario Edwards. Do you have a specific game or moment at Miami that stands out to you and maybe signified you could take your game to the next level?
EF: To be honest with you, I really don’t. For me, I believe each game I progressed since I played as a freshman. I never really had a game where I felt like I arrived.

Everything over my career has just been a progression. It wasn’t something where I just had one good game. I felt like everything was just a process and that I got better each week.

Q. Offensive linemen are often the unsung heroes of a team. What do you love about playing the position?
EF: I like everything about it. I like the nastiness of it and everything it takes to be good at it.

Duke and I are pretty good friends, so I like seeing him run for a lot of yards. I like being part of the reason he’s having success on the field.

Overall, I like everything about the trenches. I like being able to be physical and push defensive linemen around.

Q. What do you believe is the most underrated part of your game?
EF: I really don’t know what others say about my game. I talk to my coaches, so I know I could do a better job with my technique and hand placement. But I still haven’t found out what teams are looking for me to get better at.

Right now, I’m just working on my hands. They’ve gotten a lot better, but there is always something you could work on improving

Q. Who was the most challenging player you had to block in your time at Miami?
EF: I went against some pretty good players. I went against Randy Gregory of Nebraska. I also went against Dominique Easley and Bjoern Werner when I was a freshman.

It was kind of like facing a gauntlet of  pass rushers playing at Miami. I can’t just pick one.

Q. What did you do to prevent these players from beating you in the game?
EF: I just try to get in their head. A little talking won’t hurt.

Q. As I said earlier, many speak highly of you going into the draft. Do you have an expectation of where you’ll be drafted this spring?
EF: I really don’t. I just want to get myself ready to play at that level. When and where I get picked will figure itself out.

I really don’t care which round I’m taken. My focus right now is to just be prepared to play at a high level once I am on a team.

Q. As a player, is it difficult to not pay any attention to all of the draft coverage in the media or see where you’re project to go?
EF: I really don’t follow that stuff. I just play football. That’s my focus right now.

Q. Regardless of where you get drafted, what will that moment be like for you when you hear your name called and you’re officially in the NFL?
EF: That’s going to be great! That’s going to be exciting. Period.

Q. Is it kind of weird at this point, that you don’t know where you’re going to end up or what city you’re going to be living in?
EF: Yeah, man, I have no idea where I’m going to be living for the next few years. I’ll watch teams every Sunday wondering if I’m going to be there.
I guess you have to be ready for wherever you’re drafted. Wherever I go, I’ll just be ready to go to work.

Q. The Packers will look to the draft this spring to improve their offensive line and you’re a guy we believe will be on their radar. How would you feel about playing for a team like the Green Bay Packers?
EF: I’d love to play in Green Bay with Aaron Rodgers. They have a great running back too. They were almost in the Super Bowl, and they’re a great team.
Green Bay would be a great place to play. It’s one of the best organizations in the league, and they win games. I always like winning. I would love to land in Green Bay.

Q. The Packers already have some pretty good players on their offensive line in Josh Sitton and T.J. Lang, and they also have Aaron Rodgers under center. What do you think you could learn by playing with established veterans like these guys?
EF: I would love to play on their line. I watch some of their guys and try to learn things from them. I’ve watched Bulaga and tried to pick things up from his game.

Q. If drafted by the Packers, what could you bring to their offense?
EF: Hard work. Passion. That will to win. I’m hungry to go get it each and every week and I’ll do whatever it takes to win.

Q. Tell us a little bit more about yourself. When you’re not playing football, what do you like to do in your free time?
EF: If I’m not playing football, I’m probably just working out with my dad preparing for gameday. We’re working on it nonstop.

Other than that, I just chill with friends. When you’re in school and playing football, you really don’t have time for anything else.

Q. Finally, is there anything else you’d like Packers fans to know about you before I let you go?
EF: I would love to play for Green Bay. That’s about it.

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