May 20, 2009

Flournoy starring on track

De'Von Flournoy has spent much of his high school career feeling a whole lot of love. Before he committed to USC, Flournoy was hearing from plenty of schools like Notre Dame, Cal, Miami and UCLA.

They were showing him love.

That all changed when he told USC he wanted to be a Trojan on the same day USC told him he had a scholarship offer.

"Now that I'm doing with recruiting, it's like no one loves me," he said. "But it's great. In my heart, I knew it's where I wanted to go. It didn't really bother me."

The recruiting process officially came to a halt in February when Flournoy signed his letter of intent to play football at USC.

"Because I had committed early, on the first day they had offered me, I kind of know where I was going all along," Flournoy said. "To finally get to the day where you're signed and it completes the contract where you're going for sure, there's a rush. I'm in. I'm finally going to be there.

"I'm a Trojan. It's documented; it's on paper. "

But before Flournoy gets on campus after graduating from Van Nuys (Calif.) Birmingham, he's got some other business to attend to.

Flournoy's starred for the Birmingham track team during his high school years, running the 100 meters, 200 meters, the 400-meter relay and the 1,600-meter relay. However, a selfless act near the end of the season has morphed Flournoy's race roster.

Flournoy spoke to his track coaches about running the 400-meter dash because placing in the race could better the team's chances to win a city title. The coaches agreed, but it meant giving up the 100-meter dash and the 200-meter run.

"I was like whatever it takes for us to win a city title," Flournoy said. "It didn't really matter. It was my senior year. I just want to have some fun."

The switch became more than just fun. Turns out, Flournoy's pretty good at the 400.

"You have to think and you have to have strategy. You can't just run a 200 and go as fast as you can," he said. "You have to know your body, and you have to run it they way your body allows you to."

"It worked out well."

Flournoy's best time, 49.6 seconds, is third best in the city, and he now has his eyes set on a trip to the state championships.

After track wraps up, the 6-foot, 178-pound receiver will hit the field to begin preparing for the next step in his career.

"I've been looking at my playbook a lot, and that thing is humongous," Flournoy said. "To get ready for it, my uncle (Matthew Hatchette), he played in the NFL, and as soon as track is over, I'm hitting the field to work on routes, everything."

Flournoy knows he needs to pick things up quickly because he knows his number will get called early on during fall camp.

"They put me at the same position as Damian Williams, that Z position," Flournoy said. "They've talked to me about how important that is. One thing with Pete Carroll and John Morton is that they told me every freshman gets a chance to show what he is. You get thrown in there with the best."

And if he does the job during his first chances, Flournoy's bound to start feeling even more love.

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