Boston College immediately got a taste of what Zay Flowers could do when the speedy wideout from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, brought in a game-opening, 33-yard touchdown reception in Week 1 of 2019.
But it wasn’t until last year that the program maximized his skill set, thanks to offensive coordinator Frank Cignetti Jr. and BC’s return to the air.
Flowers repeatedly blew the top off defenses, finished 18th nationally in receiving yards and now is collecting a host of preseason accolades ahead of a pivotal junior season.
He added another Thursday afternoon when he was named to the Biletnikoff Award preseason watch list, along with 50 other players. The award, won by Alabama’s DeVonta Smith in 2020, is given annually to the most outstanding receiver in the FBS.
There are seven other ACC players on the list as well: Pittsburgh’s Jordan Addison, North Carolina State’s Emeka Emezie, Miami’s Mike Harley, Syracuse’s Taj Harris, Virginia’s Billy Kemp IV, Wake Forest’s Jaquarii Roberson and Clemson’s Justyn Ross.
Of the aforementioned group, Flowers piled up the second-most receiving yards (892) in 2020. Roberson (926) was the only one who had him beat.
Flowers posted three games with 160 or more receiving yards last season: first at Duke, then versus Pitt and finally at UVA. He rounded out the year with 56 catches and nine touchdowns. Still used every so often on jet sweeps and endarounds, Flowers added 11 attempts for 41 yards and one score on the ground.
He and quarterback Phil Jurkovec teamed up for four passing touchdowns of 20 or more yards in 2020. The duo will be the focal point of the Eagles’ offense yet again this fall.