"I came in and found out I was going to be ineligible by three hours," he said after transferring from Pearl River Community College in Hattiesburg, Miss.
Flowers played eight games splitting time at linebacker and defensive end at PRCC in 2009 and was making the adjustments necessary to fight for playing time at Midwestern.
"At Pearl River, we had shorter practices," he said. "Guys were coming in for two years with a lot of talent from bigger programs. They were coming in, using a year of eligibility and leaving. We had a lot of talent, so our coaches weren't as hard on us. When we practice, we just had to be crisp but here it's all day, every day. It's a real job."
So the man they affectionately call 'Moo' found some clarity in what it was going to take to extend his football playing days while being forced to spend the 2010 season away from competition.
"At that point, I realized that this is what I love (to do)," Flowers said. "I had to sit out a year and it got me motivated. it was probably the best thing that happened to me. I passed all 12 during the summer with As and Bs and worked hard every single day during the summer so I could contribute to the team."
Moo made his mark on the team appearing in each of the Mustangs' 11 games a season ago recording 26 tackles including a season high of eight stops at Angelo State while helping the team to a perfect 10-0 season and a Lone Star Conference championship.
This summer, Flowers didn't rest on just being back on the field for a second season at MSU.
"My approach this offseason was to be a student of the game and to hone myself as best as possible to grind hard every day," he said. "I just wanted get better every single day of the week."
Now, as part of the revamped defensive line unit, Flowers hopes his individual mantra will spread to help fashion the Mustangs' newly cobbled defensive front.
"I can't speak on how we will be playing going into the season because we are still in camp but we're really working hard as a group," he said. "We're trying getting that bond and gelling so we can be one dominant force. I expect the whole D-Line to be great just like last year."
It's that bond which he believes is the foundation of success for the growing winning tradition that is Midwestern State football.
"I love it here. This is the best family atmosphere I've ever experienced on a team," Flowers said. "Coaches are hard on us but it's great and makes us that much closer on game day and tight situations. That's why we execute the way we do."
But Moo? Quite the nickname. Where did that come from?
"My nickname came from childhood. I was about 7 or 8 and me and this guy on my block both had the name Justin," Flowers said. "We used to play football all of the time and they just called me 'Moo,' but it was 'Shamoo' when I was little. I was big and the other Justin was small."
PHOTO DAYS: Attention Parents! Photo Day for Football is set for Sunday, Aug. 19 while Men's Soccer, Women's Soccer and Volleyball is set for Monday, Aug. 20.
Lifetouch Sports offers many packages with two easy ways to order. You can either order online at lifetouchsports.com before photo or student-athletes must purchase and order packages on photo day (cash/check only).
To pre-order online, go to www.lifetouchsports.com then select the ORDER NOW button under Order Before Picture Day. Next, enter the Picture Day ID of TX01-2-002-X0 and click on SUBMIT. Begin shopping.
To resolve issues, please contact Lifetouch Sports customer support at (940) 692-9691.
COUNTDOWN TO OPENERS
WOMEN'S/MEN'S SOCCER/VOLLEYBALL -- 16 DAYS: Women's Soccer opens the year against No. 10 Fort Lewis (Colo.) as part of the MSU Classic on Friday, Aug. 31 at the MSU Soccer Field. Kickoff is set for 5 p.m. West Texas A&M and Colorado Mesa lead off the classic earlier in the afternoon at 3 p.m. The MSU Men's Soccer team takes on Texas A&M International at 7 p.m. to complete the tripleheader.
FOOTBALL -- 24 DAYS: No. 4 Midwestern State opens the regular season at Tarleton State on Saturday, Sep. 8at Memorial Stadium in Stephenville, Texas. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.
- Football worked through its first morning practice in preparation for its first two-a-day drills on Thursday. The Mustangs will go in the morning at 9:20 a.m. before going through a second practice at 4:50 p.m. MSU practices in the afternoon on Friday before taking on another two-a-day on Saturday.
- Volleyball continues its two-a-day workouts on Thursday and Friday before heading to the Texas Wesleyan Tournament in Fort Worth Saturday to take on Tyler JC and Navarro JC.
- Men's Soccer had its first intersquad scrimmage Wednesday on the game field.
"We have a lot of things to work on," MSU coach Doug Elder said. "We saw some good things, but we're trying to blend a lot of styles together and have them play our way."
Elder lauded the play of freshmen Javan Toledo, Bryan Santiago, Idi Camara and Derek Sanchez.
"I was really pleased with some of the younger players," he said. "They have a great opportunity to step in and contribute. Freshmen haven't had that kind of opportunity here in a while."
The Mustangs open exhibition play Friday against Oklahoma City University at the MSU Soccer Field. Kickoff is set for 3 p.m.
- Women's Soccer works through two more two-a-day training sessions on Thursday and Friday (9 a.m. and 6 p.m.) before travelling for a scrimmage at Dallas Baptist.