Redshirt freshman LB Justin Flowe is Oregon’s second-highest rated commit of all time, behind 2021 All American Kayvon Thibodeaux. Will all the stars align for Flowe to have a breakout 2022 season, and set the college football world ablaze in the Dan Lanning defense?
Being your ever faithful Duck writer with a keen ear on the Duck football beat, I think this is a question we should really ponder. The implications it would bring for the football season would be sensational; my premise isn’t a dart thrown wide at the board. Flowe was the No. 1 rated linebacker in the 2020 class, the headliner of the Duck class, as he came in as the No. 8 player in the nation, according to Rivals.
What Do You Get in That Type of High Rated Player?
Flowe has the body, strength, and speed of a Greek God: it’s a rare high-quality blend of dominance and excellence. His skills and passion for the game mean his weak spots still grade him out as a future high draft pick. He is a maniac on the football field, a huge hitter, physically dominant, a gridiron predator.
Flowe plays with a work ethic that sees him refusing to be blocked, while possessing elite timing and instincts, and with a motor that lets him consistently play sideline-to-sideline. Flowe is also a great pass rusher and backfield disrupter when called to do so. In four seasons, he wreaked havoc in the backfield during high school while recording 24 sacks with 48 tackles for loss.
He Does Everything at a High Level
Flowe started Oregon’s season opener against Fresno State last year alongside potential All-American linebacker Noah Sewell. He won the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week, with 14 tackles, five of them solo and one forced fumble. Tragically, he broke his foot in the second half — carrying on, finishing the game, but lost for the season.
That film shows Flowe excelling in every facet of the linebacker game at an elite level. This young player shows great pre-snap diagnosis, has good eyes with steady feet while he reads the play, has smooth feet on pass drops and closes with incredible speed. Flowe also shows his motor to fight through blocks and into the scrum to be part of the tackle, along with his speed to shoot a gap and blow a play up.
He Makes Everyone Around Him Better
Coach Lanning knows how to use those special types of players who make everyone around them better, and Flowe is that guy. Paired with Sewell, Flowe gives Lanning the highest-rated pair of starting linebackers in the country for the 2022 season.
It’s Flowe, the smaller linebacker as the lightning to Sewell’s thunder. Look for Lanning to utilize Flowe’s speed to run all over the field as he makes big plays and racks up his tackle totals while Sewell is the big, violent, gap-filling force. Flowe and Sewell will make each other better players, and that’s just what Lanning wants with his two stars.
He Will Be Healthy and Full Go for Fall Camp
Oregon DC Tosh Lupoi said the following to Oregonlive.com about Flowe in spring practice:
“We tried our best to slowly progress (Flowe) but there’s not really that gear in his body. We did a few walk-throughs and then turned into full speed for him so we had to slow him down. I’d much rather be coaching a guy that you got to ask him to slow down rather than have to constantly encourage him to speed up.”
This is further proof of the inner fire in Flowe to not only compete 100% on every game snap, to get better every day in practice.
Can Justin Flowe have an All-American season and rocket up the NFL draft boards into the first two rounds this 2022 season? What do you think, Duck fans? Share your thoughts in the OBD FORUM!
Top Photo by Eric Evans of UO Athletics Twitter
Natalie Liebhaber, the FishDuck.com Volunteer Editor for this article, works in the financial technology industry in SLC, Utah.
I was born a Cali kid and my uncle is a USC Alum. Remember going to an SC game when I was like 5 with him. I moved to Oregon in 77 when I was 6 and became a Duck fan long ago. I remember Reggie Ogburn OB days, so it was before the Ducks got good. I’ve been a sports nut since I was a kid.
I went to Tigard High about the same time as linebacker Jeremy Asher did, and I watched him team with Rich Ruhl on the inside of the Gang Green defense.
Lots of Ducks memories, Danny O’Neil’s passing in 1st Rose Bowl, Kenny Wheaton, Joey’s comebacks early in his career and how jacked up he got!
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