When last we left DeSherrius Flowers, the 2015 Alabama signee was ruled ineligible due to what the university is calling a recently discovered initial eligibility issue and his future with the Tide seemed up in the air. Now, though, we’ve gotten a peek at just what the future will hold.
Immediately, his high school coach told al.com, the running back is headed to a Mississippi junior college. After that, it’s likely Flowers will return to the Tide.
“I don’t think this has changed his relationship with Alabama as far as I know,” Ashley Johnson said. “He loves Alabama. That’s where he wanted to be. And as far as they were concerned, he was good to go obviously or they wouldn’t have brought him on board in January and got him in school. As far as they were concerned, his eligibility looked great — from the coaching staff and the college itself.”
As for when Flowers would return to Tuscaloosa, Johnson is unsure if it will be one year or two for Flowers at the JUCO. Johnson, though, is leaning toward it being the latter, which means Flowers wouldn’t return to the Tide until the 2017 season.
Johnson also revealed for the first time just what the eligibility issue involved.
Johnson’s understanding is that Flowers was ruled ineligible because of a large jump in Flowers’ ACT score from the previous time he took the test.
Flowers’ final score was a 19 out of 36, Johnson said.
Johnson wasn’t sure of Flowers’ previous score.
“Not that there’s any evidence of any wrongdoing, but it’s just irregular, so the NCAA can then declare you ineligible as far as college athletics go,” Johnson said. “Again, Alabama didn’t see it. They wouldn’t have put this much time into him if they thought there was anything there at all. They wouldn’t have brought him in in January and let him go through spring training. They thought he had had a great spring and had him in summer classes. None of that would have happened if the university or the coaching staff thought for a second, hey, there’s something wrong here and they’re going to declare him ineligible.
“And I think because he came in that time of year, the NCAA — they don’t check these things when you take the tests as a junior or whatever — they check them when you come into college, and most college football freshmen are coming in in the summer. So apparently they didn’t check any of that stuff when he came in in January.”
A four-star member of UA’s 2015 recruiting class, Flowers was rated as the No. 21 running back in the country; the No. 9 player at any position in the state of Alabama; and the No. 192 player overall by Rivals.com. He was an early enrollee who participated in spring practice prior to the eligibility issue cropping up.