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Taggart Turns to Talented Freshman Quinton Flowers Coping with Tragedy

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Willie Taggart already acknowledged Flowers first start would not be the toughest event the freshman has overcome, but tragedy struck once again last night in Miami. USF Nation must stand behind one of our own.

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True freshman quarterback Quinton Flowers will make his first start under helm as a Bull Saturday in Dallas against AAC foe SMU. Miami native Flowers has seen limited playing time in 2014, completing two of five pass attempts for six yards. Then the troll's ears perk up and add, ‘Flowers also has thrown two interceptions'.

Maybe if the trolls spent an equivalent amount of time watching games as running there traps, they would have the wherewithal to grasp that both aforementioned picks came in garbage time as Jacoby Brissett and North Carolina State bent USF over a barrel. Collin and I witnessed both interceptions, one from the press box and one from the sideline. We were both baffled by Taggart's move to bring Flowers in a game that was well out of reach, burning his redshirt.

So, what do we know about Flowers?

Most seem to believe Flowers is only an athlete and not a true quarterback. I wholeheartedly disagree with the notion. Flowers aired it out for 1,349 yards via 73 completions (18.5 yds/comp) his senior season, collecting 16 passing touchdowns. Flowers also dashed for 641 yards on the ground on 88 carries (7.3 yds/carry) and broke the plane 10 times.

2013-14 QB Quinton Flowers Passing Stats (Miami-Jackson)

2013-14 QB Quinton Flowers Rushing Stats (Miami-Jackson)

Flowers was a difficult catch for Taggart and Co. during his recruitment process for the Class of 2014. I followed the situation closely, like most diehards, while still writing my blog and where I noted:

"I'm almost positive the debacle with #55 ATH/QB-DT Quinton Flowers out of Miami Jackson HS this past weekend influenced [Chase] Litton's time frame. Flowers, an exceptional talent receiving comparisons to BJ Daniels, committed last Friday then abruptly de-committed later the same day. I wish I was joking..... Flowers’ holds numerous offers from the hierarchical elite & USF is said to still be in the mix. Flowers would be a signature get for Team Taggart."

247 Analyst Corey Long had this to say in his Grading the Class: Offense article about Taggart’s quarterback haul in 2014:

"Normally I wouldn't give a grade this high for just one signee at quarterback since I believe depth at the most important position is crucial. However, my reasoning behind such a grade is this: USF clearly believes Flowers is the difference maker they need and would rather focus on developing him and Mike White rather than adding another fresh body to the mix that might effect either one of them or stunt their growth in any way. It's sort of like a baseball team trading for the one prospect they know will be a star rather than several pieces that may or may not fit. I get it. I also believe Flowers will play early, probably in a certain package the coaches will have made for him. As a player Flowers has always impressed me. He was a one-man show at Miami Jackson for much of his career so I'm excited to see what he can do with some talented young teammates."

To make matters worse in the tragedy stricken life of Quinton Flowers, the freshman was informed his half-brother was murdered last night in Miami. 24-year old Bradley Holt was slain in Allapattah while trying to protect children playing football from a unidentified man circling them in a yellow mustang. After Holt yelled for the man to stop, the victim was shot in the head. Ladies and gents, it doesn't get any more gruesome. Flowers has already lost his Father to a stray bullet and his mother to cancer. Tom Zebold wrote an excellent piece titled 'Flowers Triumphs Over Tragedy To Get To USF' on the path to success and the struggles Flowers was forced to overcome.

EVERYONE needs to be pulling for this kid tomorrow evening. My heart goes out to you and my prayers are with you and your family Quinton. #RestInPeace