Southeast Missouri State University student publication

Ryan Flournoy: from no Division 1 offers to All-American

Tuesday, September 12, 2023
SEMO senior wide reciever Ryan Flornoy lines up during SEMO’s 45-7 victory over the Lindenwood Lions on Sept. 9 at Houck Stadium.
Photo by Nathan Gladden

SEMO senior wide receiver Ryan Flournoy has received numerous pre-season honors that recognize him as one of the top wide receivers in the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS), but for Flournoy, the journey has not been simple.

Flournoy received no Division 1 offers coming out of high school, starting his college career at Central Missouri by redshirting in 2018 and making his debut in 2019. He would then transfer to Iowa Western Community College for the 2021 season, where in his first spring practice he would suffer a torn ACL.

Flournoy was able to make it back on the field that fall, finishing as Iowa Westerns top receiver with 32 receptions for 545 yards and five touchdowns.

Flournoy said having the right mentality is what allowed him to come back so soon at such a high level.

“I ain’t have a victim mentality. I can control what I have to control. I had to work day in, day out to get right and bounce back,” Flournoy said.

After one season at Iowa Western, Flournoy found his way to SEMO for the 2022 season. Head coach Tom Matukewicz said Flournoy immediately showed how special he was both on and off the field.

“He earned a captaincy in six months, which is hard to do,” Matukewicz said. “He’s humble and no one out works him, at the end of the day people respect a worker.”

On the field Flournoy led the Redhawks in receiving yards (984) and touchdowns (7) earning him a 1st team all-OVC selection for his play.

Prior to the 2023 season Flournoy received multiple honors, first team all-OVC/Big South, Stats Perform FCS 1st team all-american, and #47 on Bruce Feldman’s freak list for The Athletic. The list is a ranking of college football players who “generate buzz inside their programs by displaying the rare physical abilities”.

The physical abilities of Flournoy compare favorably to several former NFL all-pro wide receivers. Flournoy ran a faster 40-yard dash (4.40 sec.) and had a higher vertical jump (41 in.) than Antonio Brown, the same time in the 3 cone drill (6.66 sec.) as Julio Jones and can bench press the same weight (350 lbs.) as DK Metcalf.

SEMO offensive pass game coordinator/wide receivers coach Justin Drudik, said Flournoy’s all around athletic ability is what makes him stand out from others.

“He’s an all around athlete. You see some guys with 4.4 speed, but they’re weak in the weight room or they don’t have the size and height. He is the strongest wideout that maybe I’ve ever coached,” Drudik said.

Through two games Flournoy is continuing to produce, as he is tenth in the FCS in receiving yards (195) and second in receptions (20). Flournoy said he doesn’t let the label of an FCS player define him.

“I don’t even put myself in the FCS category because I know I’m him,” Flournoy said.