At 6-foot-2 inches and 310 pounds, the Texas product Calvin Avery has the size of an NFL defensive tackle.
Avery was ranked the ninth best defensive lineman and the 156th best recruit in his class of 2018, according to Rivals.com. He was also awarded Under Amour All-American honors and received offers from 25 colleges with a solid football program, including offers from big time programs like Texas, USC, and Oklahoma.
His commitment came as a bit of a surprise with many insiders predicting him to stay home and, possibly, sign with TCU.
Avery is the highest rated and first four-star recruit to commit to the Fighting Illini under Head Coach Lovie Smith.
His massive frame and athleticism allowed him to dominate the opposing lineman throughout high school. Meanwhile, his speed and explosiveness allowed him to get into the backfield and record 18 tackles for loss and 12 sacks in his monstrous junior year.
When it comes down to it, Avery is every coach’s dream with his ability to always be relentless and persistently play through the whistle.
Last season, defensive linemen Bobby Roundtree and Isaiah Gay got lots of playing time and provided a big impact on the defensive line as freshmen. Avery will most likely be heavily involved in the defensive lineman rotation during his first season as well.
The addition of Avery to young playmakers like Bobby Roundtree, Bennett Williams and Nate Hobbs will be fun to watch next season and the Illini will look to improve on their 2-10 record.
Simply put, Calvin Avery will be a great player and has potential to become the next Illini defensive lineman to make it to the pros.