Despite poor performances during his freshman year, Quinton Flowers has been named the starting QB for the South Florida Bulls and their new spread offense.
Quinton Flowers, a 6-0, 217-pound sophomore, has been named the starting quarterback at South Florida by Bulls head coach Willie Taggart. Flowers won a training camp battle with senior Steven Bench and will be under center when South Florida takes on Florida A&M in both teams’ season openers on Sept. 5.
Flowers is former four-star recruit out of Jackson High School in Miami. He started one game last fall as a freshman, a 14-13 win over SMU. Flowers went just 6-of-15 for 73 yards in the game, which took place just 48 hours after a family member had been murdered in Miami. The game was plagued by bad weather and untimely turnovers. Eventually Flowers gave way to Mike White, who led the final game-winning scoring drive.
Bench, who transferred to USF from Penn State after the Jerry Sandusky fiasco, played in 15 games at South Florida starting three. He was plagued by erratic performances and inaccuracy. Bench completed just 44.8 percent of his passes in those 15 games.
When Taggart decided that the Bulls would move away from their pro-style offensive attack and implement more of a spread offense, the advantage clearly swung in Flowers’s favor. The dual-threat QB is built for the spread and is equally adept running and passing the football. In action last season, Flowers ran 13 times for 73 yards.
When Flowers takes the reins of the USF offense on Sept. 5, he will have five returning starters on offense. That includes last year’s American Athletic Conference Rookie of the Year, running back Marlon Mack. The 6-0, 200-pounder rushed for 1,041 yards and nine touchdowns last year.
Taggart hopes that Flowers will take command of the offense and the quarterback position. In Taggart’s two seasons at the helm at USF, the Bulls are 6-18 with five different starting quarterbacks. The lack of continuity and the lack of a leader has hurt Taggart and South Florida as they look to return to prominence. USF went to six straight bowl games between 2005 and 2010.