Sports, Football

Zay Flowers Announces Return for 2022 Season

Boston College head football coach Jeff Hafley signed a five-year extension on Nov. 29. One week later, quarterback Phil Jurkovec announced his plan to return for his third year at BC, silencing NFL Draft speculation and keeping a key piece of BC’s offense intact. On Tuesday, wide receiver Zay Flowers followed suit. 

Flowers announced on his Instagram on Tuesday that he will return for his senior season at BC in 2022.

In his announcement, Flowers thanked Hafley, wide receivers coach Joe Dailey, his teammates, and his family for their guidance throughout his career. 

“My teammates, thank you for helping me build a brotherhood and helping me make memories forever,” Flowers said in the video posted to his Instagram. “I just want to thank everybody on the BC campus that helped me with anything and helped me become the person I am today, because I really appreciate that.” 

With just a bowl game left in the 2021 season, Flowers leads BC receivers in yards, yards per game, and touchdowns. Flowers accounts for one third of BC’s total receiving yards and has been targeted nearly two times as often as any other receiver on the depth chart. 

Over the 12-game regular season, he amassed five touchdowns on 746 total yards, averaging 16.95 yards per reception and 62.17 yards per game. Flowers is seventh among ACC wide receivers in yards per reception and 10th in total yards. He received third-team all-ACC honors at the end of the regular season. 

Though substantial, Flowers’ 2021 offensive accolades pale in comparison to his 2020 accomplishments—in part due to Jurkovec’s extended absence during the 2021 season. In games with Jurkovec at the helm, Flowers averaged 74 yards per game. Discounting an appearance against Wake Forest, Flowers averaged 92.5 yards per game with Jurkovec under center. 

With Dennis Grosel at quarterback, Flowers averaged just 53.7 yards per game and reached at least 74 yards—his average under Jurkovec—just once in seven games. Discounting his appearance against Syracuse—in which he totaled 116 yards, his most of the season—Flowers averaged 43.3 yards per game. 

While Jurkovec and Flowers took the field together five times in 2021, the 2020 season provides a more comprehensive look into their relationship.

Flowers emerged as a mainstay of BC’s offensive attack in 2020, his sophomore season. After starting just two games as a freshman, Flowers totaled 892 yards on 56 receptions, nine of which were for touchdowns throughout the 2020 season. He also finished with the Eagles’ longest catch of the year—a 77-yard touchdown against Pittsburgh, where Flowers used his speed to break away from a defender and beat him to the endzone. 

Later that game, Flowers caught the game-winning catch in his first overtime game since his junior year of high school. 

Flowers also caught national attention, appearing in a 2020 ESPN ad for the College Football Playoff and becoming the second-ever BC receiver to earn first-team all-ACC honors. 

Next season, Flowers will return to BC for his fourth year of eligibility. He will also return to his home state of Florida to take on Florida State in one of his final games as an Eagle, though the date of the matchup has not yet been announced. 

Featured Image by Kristian Lamarre / Heights Staff

December 21, 2021