The wide receiving corps at the University of Montana added a new member to its ranks with the late signing of Malik Flowers, who has accepted a scholarship offer to join the football program.
"I felt like (the coaches) actually cared for what I had to say, not just me as an athlete," Flowers said. "I thought it would be a good system for me to be in. Just to know that they are on the personal level with the athletes is good so I thought Montana would be a good school for me."
Flowers, a three-star recruit according to 247sports.com under the catch-all title "athlete," will play wide receiver for Montana after lining up at quarterback during his days at A.B. Miller High in Fontana, California. His high school coach Shawn Moore explained just what the Grizzlies are getting in the 6-foot-2, 170-pound Flowers.
"You're getting a dual-threat player. This young man can do it all," Moore said. "He's an athlete, and not only that, he's a good young man. He's very dependable and he is a leader. A lot of people follow him and he has a good direction to follow."
Montana head coach Bob Stitt likes what Flowers brings to the table athletically.
"Malik is a very athletic wide receiver with tremendous ball skills," Stitt said. "We were looking for an outside receiver with outstanding speed and Malik is a guy that can really stretch the field vertically. He is exactly what we were looking for on the outside."
Flowers found success in the backfield, as a receiver and as a kick returner at A.B. Miller. Montana receivers coach Mike Ferriter said he could also see some time on special teams.
"We're going to start him off as a receiver, not really worried about inside or outside right now we are just going to get him in and see what he can do," Ferriter said. "He can play multiple positions because of the type of athlete he is. I think early on, with his speed, he will be a guy who could contribute on special teams as a returner."
The speed Ferriter refers to led to an excellent career on the track for Flowers, particularly in the 110-meter hurdles. On June 3, he finished sixth at the CIF State Championship meet in California. His personal best of 13.93 came on June 2 in the state prelims, a top-40 time in the nation this year.
And that speed transitions to the gridiron.
"In a time base, he's a 4.3 guy. We clocked him at just about 4.37," Moore said, referring to Flowers' 40-yard-dash time. "You aren't going to catch him, that's the type of guy that he is. And he's not only fast, he is very strong. He can catch a ball at 5 yards and take it to the house with defenders trying to tackle him."
Flowers also received offers from Cincinnati and Colorado State. He joins a roster with a lot of depth at the wide receiver position. Montana has 21 receivers and brings back starters Jerry Louie-McGee, Justin Calhoun and Keenan Curran, the top-three receivers in yards last season.
Montana opens the 2017 season at home on Sept. 2 against Valparaiso in Washington-Grizzly Stadium.