Justin Flowe, one of the most dominant linebackers in the country, received his All-American Bowl jersey Tuesday.
“I watched it all the time,” he said. “It’s pretty cool seeing all the big time players in the game.”
With that ceremony complete, Flowe is now focused on preparing for the first round of the playoffs scheduled for this weekend as the 5-5 Upland (California) Scots work to repeat as CIF-SS Div. II champions.
If the team can find playoff success this season, Flowe will be at the head of it. A semifinalist for the Butkus Award for top linebacker, his impact has spread to the offense this season. Flowe has pulled a page out of high youth playbook as running back, which he played through middle school.
“When I was little I played running back and linebacker,” he said. “I guess I just fell in love with (linebacker) when I was in middle school years.”
He’s had occasional snaps at running back in high school. This season, Flowe has 237 rushing yards and five touchdowns on only 20 carries, including this run:
— Overtime (@overtime) October 25, 2019
It’s all situational.
“Whenever they need a big play, you know, whenever we’re backed up or something like that, they’ll throw me in at running back,” Flowe said. “I just try to be a playmaker.”
So he can run. But linebacker is where he makes his real business. Flowe said he takes after San Francisco 49ers linebacker Reuben Foster, who was blowing up at Alabama as Flowe was entering high school.
“That’s why I got No. 10, cause of Reuben Foster,” Flowe said. “That was my favorite player coming into high school.”
The two even got in contact on an Alabama visit prior to Flowe’s junior year.
“We talk all the time,” Flowe said. “He reached out to me in person and he texts me on Instagram and everything, so it’s pretty cool.”
That wasn’t enough for Alabama to get into Flowe’s top four schools, though. He said there aren’t any new updates since he announced he is considering Georgia, Clemson, Oregon and Miami.
With seemingly every college in the country coming after him, it takes more than just a strong football program to attract the Chosen 25 linebacker. Flowe said he wants a healthy environment that can help him grow as a person and student.
Flowe said he isn’t sure when the announcement will come.
Until then, Flowe will work to remain as one of the best linebackers. He said he cannot get complacent.
“I just know what the main goal is … What I’m trying to accomplish. I’m just trying to be the best I can be because you only get one chance at high school,” Flowe said. “I just want to make sure I just take advantage of all my opportunities, and don’t be complacent. Don’t be complacent about anything.”
The All-American Bowl will take place on Saturday, January 4 at 2 p.m. ET at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas.