Listed in BleacherReport.coms small school NFL prospects to watch, running back Timothy Flanders is narrowing his focus into finishing his last season as a Bearkat with a championship ring.
Finishing his junior season rushing for 1,642 yards and 17 touchdowns, Flanders returned to the weight room preparing to fully integrate into offensive coordinator Doug Ruses program.
Ruses scheme called for an interchangeable running back role as a strong pass blocker and elusive rusher that Flanders filled by putting on an extra 15 pounds during the offseason.
Most of the stuff I did was upper body and lower body. I worked on just trying to gain some more muscle mass so I can be healthy throughout the whole season.
Flanders commanded a bigger role this season aside quarterback Brian Bell, adjusting to faster game speed and diverse assignments Ruse called.
I think its because the pace we ran our offense we did a lot more passing that opened up a lot more running holes, Flanders said.
Flanders, who averaged 113.5 yards a game, received his second consecutive FCS player of the year award as well as a finalist in the 2013 Walter Peyton Awards. With spring training starting in March, Flanders is expecting to prove himself as a NFL draft contender.
Im ready for it. I just got to prove myself one more year especially being the FCS prospect compared to BCS schools, Flanders said.
Flanders has not yet decided his participation in SHSUs Pro Day in March.
Besides preparing to return to Huntsville with a national title, Flanders looks to secure the Walter Peyton Award as a top running back. But as the season progressed, player health became a priority among the coaches where Flanders rotated with Keshawn Hill, hampering him from posting extra numbers.
Thats a big time goal for me. Thats probably number two besides winning the championshipI just got to keep doing what Im doing, we got ahead of some teams the coaches wanted to keep players healthy during the season and thats pretty much what it came down to.
With the 2013 signing class hauling new bodies on the offensive line and a new running back added to Sam Houston States extensive running scheme, Flanders expects competitive spring training and a chance to lead a new era of Bearkat running backs.
I think its going to be another heated battle between [Flanders, Keshawn Hill, and Ryan Wilson.] Flanders said. If you keep bringing in good backs in the sense were having theyre going to keep getting them.
As for the national championship, Flanders hopes to cross North Dakota State once more to close out his career with a win.
We got to play hard, we have to get better. Weve develop a new rival against North Dakota State, its twice, hopefully we see them again a third time, Flanders said. We have to find a way to win the championship. We have to find a way to win that last game.