It was early in his final season at Midwest City, when running back Timothy Flanders decided he didn't want to be called Tim or Timmy anymore.
The nickname had been bestowed on him by his little league coach, former Oklahoma quarterback Charles Thompson. But Flanders figured he wasn't a kid anymore, and Timothy sounded more serious. Although some people continue to call him Tim or Timmy, they can also call a member of The Oklahoman's 2008 All-State team.
“Timothy was the name they gave me when I was born,” Flanders said. “But everyone started calling me Timmy, and it just went from there. I didn't really mind, but I wanted to be called by my real name.”
Whatever people call Flanders, production has been his calling card the past three seasons. He rushed for a combined 2,900 yards in his first two years as a starter. In his final season, Flanders turned in his best effort yet, rushing for 2,134 yards and scoring 34 touchdowns.
“My yards got better every year,” he said. “I just thank the team for that. My linemen and my coaches gave me the opportunities to make things happen on field.”
Another one of Flanders' strengths is modesty. He's not one for chest thumping or end-zone theatrics. Maybe that's because he had always played in the shadow of his older brother, John, who is now at Tulsa. This was Timothy Flanders' first year without his older brother sharing the sideline with him. That will change next year, when Timothy joins John at TU.
While some Big 12 schools showed some interest in Timothy Flanders early, ultimately the big schools stayed away. Not that Flanders minds. Tulsa works for him, even if it's not OU or OSU or some other far flung locale with a 100,000-seat stadium.
“I really don't know why some schools knocked me,” he said. “I think some of it is my size. I'm just happy to get what I've got. Tulsa's been with me from the beginning.”