Football Guide '17: Flannigan-Fowles optimistic about season
Washington running back Myles Gaskin (9) is derailed by Arizona free safety Demetrius Flannigan-Fowles (6) during Arizona's overtime 35-28 loss to Washington in Arizona Stadium on Sept. 24, 2016.
Arizona football junior safety Demetrius Flannigan-Fowles turned out to be one of the standouts on the Arizona defense last season, despite the lack of success from the team.
According to Pro Football Focus, Flannigan-Fowles was named the Pac-12’s top playmaking safety, along with the second best returning player in pass coverage.
“It is a great feeling [being top safety], but I also look at it as we didn’t get a lot of wins last year, and if I am able to take the back seat and get wins, then I’d rather take that route,” Flannigan-Fowles said.
Coming off a rough season, critics have been pointing to the defense as to why the team did poorly, but Flannigan-Fowles has been preparing for this season to prevent from repeating the past.
“To prepare, I’m watching a lot of film,” Flannigan-Fowles said, “and making sure I’m staying in shape and keeping myself focused.”
Learning from fellow players, including Paul Magloire Jr. last season and other prospects, Flannigan-Fowles knows that there are high expectations for this season and for his future NFL chances, but he is focusing more on himself.
“You never know what goes on in the world,” Flannigan-Fowles said. “I am just looking to be the best person I can be. You never know what goes on in the NFL world, so I am sure they have high expectations, but you just never know. It is like a guessing game; you can’t really predict where you are going to be. Right now, I am really focusing on playing ball.”
Being a local Tucsonan, many people and children see Flannigan-Fowles as a role model in the community. Transferring from Tucson High to Mountain View, Flannigan-Fowles was ruled ineligible to play his senior year by the Arizona Interscholastic Association. Already committed to his hometown school, Arizona kept their offer until Flannigan-Fowles was ruled eligible to play by the NCAA.
As a sophomore, Flannigan-Fowles had his breakout season, as he was one of Arizona’s best defensive players finishing with 78 tackles, with a team best of 59 solos and tied the team-high with two interceptions.
Now entering his junior year, the 6-foot-2, 210-pound safety is looking to take on a leadership role.
“I feel like I can take more of a leadership role for the young guys and be an example more vocally,” Flannigan-Fowles said.
Taking that leadership role into the 2017 season, Flannigan-Fowles is very optimistic that the team will bounce back.
“Our chemistry has become a lot stronger through the summer,” Flannigan-Fowles said. “We did a lot of team activities, and now everyone knows everyone. Last year, was a huge wakeup call and we just had to make sure we worked hard in the summer and I feel like we did that.”
Hoping to have a turnaround season with no injuries and everyone playing, Flannigan-Fowles has high expectations:
“I feel like if we stay healthy and continue to do our job, you never know what could happen this season.”
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