The Huntsville Item, Huntsville, TX


February 19, 2014

All-time Southland Conference rushing leader Timothy Flanders excited for NFL Scouting Combine

Everything Timothy Flanders worked for in football has led to this.

From his days as a star in Midwest City, Okla., to a redshirt season at Kansas State before transferring to Sam Houston where he became the Southland Conference all-time leading rusher and scorer, all of it brought Flanders to the NFL Scouting Combine.

Flanders is preparing to join the 2014 NFL rookie class, hoping to be a draft selection by one of the league’s 32 teams. He signed with the Business Arena sports agency after the Bearkats’ season ended in December.

Flanders spent the last two months working out in Atlanta with Ignition Athletic Performance Group, the same group to prep former Bearkat cornerback Dax Swanson, who signed to the San Francisco 49ers practice squad in 2013.

“It’s been exciting,” Flanders said. “Probably the hardest thing was interviewing with agents, trying to find the right company. I finally found the right one and I’ve been with them since. I went to the East-West Shrine Game and ever since then I’ve been training, trying to get ready for the combine.

“With the way my schedule was with the East-West Shrine Game, I tried to pick a place where I could get a lot of one-on-one attention and (Ignition) just started training players here so I came to Atlanta.”

In the East-West Shrine Game last month, Flanders had three carries for 18 yards, including a key 15-yard run as well as an eight-yard catch. While on a national stage, it was the last time he’d wear a Sam Houston helmet before going pro.

But Flanders said it was the practices leading up to the game that were most important. Those were opportunities for players to visit with NFL scouts.

Even with his well-documented success at Sam Houston, Flanders still has two things going against him as a draft prospect. Running backs are considered to be a devalued commodity in the NFL due to high-frequency passing games, and Flanders comes from a “small school.”

That’s where his ability to catch the ball out of the backfield could benefit his draft chances. Flanders only caught six passes for 63 yards his senior season, but he recorded 34 catches and 414 receiving yards in 2011 and is the school’s all-time leader in all-purpose yards.

“Nowadays, everybody’s throwing the ball a lot more than they run it unless the score is up and you’re just running out the clock,” Flanders said. “I caught a lot of passes at Sam Houston. I think that’s one thing I have to bring to the table other than some guys from around the country.”

As for playing at a Football Championship Subdivision school, Flanders has always been of the mindset that great players go above the competition no matter the level. His college career started at Kansas State before he looked elsewhere for more opportunity to see the field.

But he didn’t view the transfer down from FBS as particularly significant.  

“It wasn’t like a big difference but there is a difference,” he said. “No matter what level it is, I’m going to play like I’m better than everyone else.

“The main thing is that at the East-West Shrine Game, overall, (scouts) said I was the best back there and I felt I did a good job.”

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Pictured from left to right are, Lt. Sullivan and Sheriff’s Deputies Phelps and Licon

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