Matt Jones is the online sports editor for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette and Northwest Arkansas Newspapers. He and his wife live in Fayetteville.
Flowers returning for senior season
Arkansas defensive end Trey Flowers pressures Rutgers quarterback Gary Nova during a Sept. 21, 2013 game at High Point Solutions Stadium in Piscataway, N.J.
FAYETTEVILLE Arkansas defensive end Trey Flowers announced Monday he will return to Arkansas for his senior season in 2014.
Flowers said the NFL Draft advisory board told him he would be a third round pick if he opted to enter the draft. Flowers recorded 44 tackles and 5 sacks as a junior, earning second-team all-SEC honors.
"I just felt like under Coach (Bret) Bielema I can improve that stock grade," Flowers said. "I think coming back and another season with the team...that I can improve against the run and the pass. I just really want to help the Razorbacks in 2014.
"I still have goals on and off the field. On the field I am excited about the program being built."
Flowers, who has 12 career sacks and 32 tackles for loss, will give Arkansas an experienced pass rusher next season. Chris Smith is graduating after recording 8.5 sacks as a senior in 2013.
Flowers said Bielema was influential in his decision to return. Bielema and head strength coach Ben Herbert flew to Flowers' hometown Montgomery, Ala. last week to meet with Flowers and his family.
Bielema said he and Herbert laid out academic and conditioning programs, as well as a future awards campaign next season to help Flowers be noticed heading into the 2015 draft.
"Trey has a plan that will allow him to graduate in December and have his degree when he's done playing," Bielema said.
"I've learned these decisions are life changers. I'm glad I was able to see Trey and his family face to face."