We’re just one month (!!!) away from the return of college football. What better way to get ready that than to look at one of the leaders of the Cowboy defense, Tre Flowers, who has one last year to add to his legacy at Oklahoma State?How he got to OSUFlowers, the former three-star safety from Judson High School (Converse, Tex.), picked Oklahoma State over offers from Arizona State, Kansas State, Houston and others. He was the No. 32 rated safety in the 2013 class according to Scout.What he’s done in StillwaterAfter a redshirt year in 2013, Flowers played in 12 games as a freshman in 2014 immediately making his mark. He finished sixth on the team with 56 tackles (44 total), two tackles for loss and three pass breakups. He’s been consistently improving since and comes into 2017 as the Cowboys’ leading returning tackler.Role in 2017Flowers is a preseason candidate for the Jim Thorpe Award who returns with more starts (32) and consecutive starts (26) than any other defender. He and newly-named safety Ramon Richards make quite the duo. One’s a yin to the other’s yang.Flowers, the mainstay safety who has been a bit overlooked due to the production of Jordan Sterns, has a personality to match. He’s not the flashy, vocal leader that Ramon might be but don’t mistake his subdued personality as passive. He can lay the wood on folks. But with all the moving pieces and fresh faces, Flowers will need to increase his leadership role in the secondary.Noteworthy stats and highlightsThere have been plenty of Tre Flowers highlights over the last three years but we’ll stick with a couple that feature his ability to dispossess the opponent — a skill which Flowers and the Cowboy defense will need to showcase to give OSU its best chance at a Big 12 title.Here’s his interception against TCU’s Trevone Boykin in 2015.And here’s a nice strip against Iowa State wide receiver Carson Epps from 2016. While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.