Dallis Flowers is first player since 2019 and the 17th player in NFL history to average 31+ yards per kickoff return with 20 or more returns in a season. | credit: Indianapolis Colts

Oak Park and River Forest High School head football coach John Hoerster appreciates the perseverance Dallis Flowers, a 2015 graduate, has shown after starring as a football and basketball player for the Huskies.

“I couldn’t be more proud of a kid,” he said. “The path Dallis took in life to end up where he is right now not only is a testament to his grit, but also his gratitude.”

Flowers plays for the Indianapolis Colts of the National Football League. He took a winding road to get there, and now he’s about to receive a special honor by OPRF for his determination. 

The school announced Aug. 13 on Instagram that the No. 21 jersey, which Flowers wore as a Huskie football player, will be retired Sept. 1 before OPRF’s home opener against Lake Park.

“This is an NFL player, but Dallis couldn’t be more excited about getting his high school jersey retired,” Hoerster said. 

Flowers began his collegiate career playing football and basketball at Robert Morris College (now Roosevelt University), followed by a brief stop at Tiffin University. 

Flowers then moved to Grand View University, where he became a two-time NAIA All-American in football and ended his college career at NCAA Division II Pittsburg State in 2021, where he had a team-high four interceptions and returned two kickoffs for touchdowns.

Flowers was not selected in the 2022 NFL draft, but he signed a free-agent deal with the Indianapolis Colts. His work ethic allowed him to make the Colts’ final roster, and he excelled on special teams, returning 23 kickoffs for 715 yards. As a result, Flowers was selected to the Pro Football Writers Association of America’s 2022 All-Rookie Team. 

Hoerster says he’s especially pleased that Flowers has not forgotten his roots. During the Colts’ bye week last season, Flowers returned to OPRF and chatted with the Huskies after their victory over Proviso West.

“As a coach, it’s fun to know that your players care about where they came from,” Hoerster said. “I’m really excited [for the jersey retirement].”

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