Wide receiver Ruben Flowers announced in a tweet on Monday afternoon that he will be transferring from Pitt this offseason to “start over somewhere new.” He did not specify where he intends to transfer, but he will have three years of eligibility remaining at his next destination.
Flowers, who joined the Panthers after graduating from Lima Senior High School in Ohio in 2016, was considered a four-star recruit by Rivals and a three-star prospect by 247Sports and ESPN. He decided on Pitt despite holding offers from other Power Five programs like Iowa, Illinois and Kentucky and in-state programs like Bowling Green, Cincinnati, Miami, Ohio and Toledo.
He appeared in six games as a redshirt freshman last season but did not record any catches. However, with former Pitt receivers Jester Weah and Quadree Henderson now plying their trade in the NFL, it seemed Flowers might see more playing time — especially after a relatively solid showing in the team's Blue-Gold Game in April. He had five catches for 58 yards in the game.
During his high school career at Lima, Flowers made 207 catches for 3,334 yards and 45 touchdowns and earned first-team all-state honors on two occasions. Given his resume, he was an enticing prospect whose recruitment was widely regarded as a significant victory for Pitt head coach Pat Narduzzi and the Panthers.
With Flowers now out of the picture for the 2018 season, Pitt's returning options at wide receiver include Rafael Araujo-Lopes, Maurice Ffrench, Aaron Mathews and Tre Tipton. Shocky Jacques-Louis was also brought in this offseason, and he could find his way onto the field quickly.
Flowers is the fourth player the Panthers have lost since March, as linebacker Jalen Williams announced his plans to transfer earlier this month, and offensive lineman Tony Pilato and tight end Chris Clark also decided to part ways with the team this spring.
As a result, Narduzzi and the Pitt coaching staff now have two open scholarships at their disposal.