The word of the day for safety Trevon Flowers was preparation.
At one point on Saturday against UT Martin, Tennessee was down to five healthy defensive backs.
No matter the circumstances on Saturday, the secondary was prepared.
“My teammates kind of prepare for stuff like this all offseason, all spring, all fall,” Flowers said on Tuesday. “We know it’s a tough game, football, so people are going get hurt and go down, whatever the case may be. So we are always prepared to have, like you said, the next man up mentality, no matter if it’s somebody that just came in this semester or that was here for two or three years.”
Tennessee’s secondary has been a weakness for the Volunteers thus far, and it doesn’t get any easier on Saturday. Kentucky’s quarterback Will Levis is considered to be one of the top quarterbacks in the NFL draft. Levis has 1,615 yards on 69.5% passing this year.
Levis passed for 372 yards and three touchdowns when the two teams met last season.
“Obviously (Levis is) a good football player, smart football player,” Flowers said, “Just being able to do our assignment, do our job, communicate to the guys around me and make sure we’re all on the same page. Just prepare. We’ve got to have great preparation.”
Flowers has been a bright spot for the Volunteers thus far. The safety was named a semifinalist for the Jim Thorpe Award, annually awarded to the top defensive back in college football.
Despite being named a semifinalist for the Jim Thorpe Award, the work isn’t finished for the senior safety.
“I’m a big believer in God, so it’s a blessing, a huge blessing for me,” Flowers said. “But without the guys on my team, I’m not even getting called for that award at all. So, I just give all credit to my d-line, my linebackers, my coaches for putting me in good positions. But we got a long way to go. I got a long way to go personally as well. So, I just got to keep climbing and keep getting better. But it’s a blessing for sure.”