Overview: Paul Flores was a senior who played offensive line for Azusa Pacific University. In 2012, he made an appearance as a tight end scoring a 3 yard touchdown before making the final transition to an offensive lineman. In 2014, he was selected to the GNAC Academic Academic All-Conference Team. He moves great for his size, smart, and a great athlete who has the ability to play multiple positions.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Paul, during which time he told me more about his background, his personality and his overall love for football.
Christa: For the people who do not know your story, how did you wind up choosing Azusa Pacific University?
PF: I grew up down the street from APU and my dad actually works as a professor there. Growing up I went to a lot of football and basketball games at the school. When it came time to make my decision I had a couple other D2/D3 offers but APU just seemed like the perfect fit for me. Being able to stay close to my family and have them be able to see almost all of my college games was a huge blessing.
C: What would you say are your strengths and weaknesses?
PF: Strengths: Ability to move, quickness, agility, technique, High Football IQ, adaptability, versatility, being coachable, and a student of the game.
I think some of the things I need to continue to work on is to continue to improve overall strength and power, as well becoming more comfortable playing the interior positions on the line.
C: What separates you from the other players at your position?
PF: I believe my versatility and being able to play multiple spots is helpful. I would also say my ability to run and cover ground, whether it’s outside in the open field or on the backside needing to reach a defender.
C: Which current or former NFL player do you think you resemble and why?
PF: One player I think I can be quite similar to is Chris Chester of the Falcons. Both of us transitioned from tight end to offensive line in college. He’s played multiple positions for NFL teams and his athletic ability has been one of his strengths and I think he is someone I can be similar to.
C: Who is the toughest player you’ve ever faced in your college career?
PF: I think Gustave Benthin and Kraig Akins from Western Oregon were great players to keep compete against and were quite the challenge. I also got to play in the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl where I got to go up against a lot of talented players.
C: Do you prefer run blocking or pass blocking?
PF: I love both, but nothing beats run blocking. I really enjoy the physicality that comes with the position.
C: If an NFL scout were to walk up to you and give you ten seconds to sell yourself, what would you say?
PF: I will work my butt off, I’ll play wherever you want me to. I’m going to come in to work everyday and simply try to get better at what I do and help the team.
C: How do you prepare for game day? Do you have any game day rituals?
PF: I don’t really have any rituals. I just try to relax and chill out before. You’ve spent all week preparing now it’s time to perform.
C: What is the most inspirational or powerful thing a coach has ever said to you in your college career?
PF: I would definitely say my offensive line coach Jackie Slater has been influential in my career. I bounced around at different positions my first couple of years eventually making my way to offensive line. He was always supportive, encouraging and believed in me, at times when I probably didn’t even believe in myself. I’m not able to pinpoint a specific phrase or moment but throughout my career he has been the most influential person for me.
C: What was your favorite moment/play at Azusa Pacific University?
PF: One of my favorite moments that comes to mind from this last season was in our opening game on the road at West Texas. We made a crazy comeback in the 2nd half and scoring the go ahead touchdown late in 4th quarter was just an amazing moment for our team.
Locker Room Update would like to thank Paul Flores for taking the time to speak with us. We wish him the best of luck as he continues his journey as an NFL 2016 draft prospect.
You can check out his his highlights here
Follow him on Twitter: @PaulTHE2nd