The 90 Illini #31: Calvin Avery

Oct 10, 2020

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Had a momentary freak-out this morning when I realized that we had heard nothing about Calvin Avery at the super-secret training camp going on right now. Went through a "injured? OPTING OUT?" panic until photos were released of this morning's practice showing Avery participating. I don't do well with training camp behind closed doors.

31. Calvin Avery

Defensive Tackle
Uniform number: 93
Year in school: Junior (3 years to play 2; with the Covid rule, technically 4 to play 3)
Height: 6'-2" -- Weight: 340 lbs.
Hometown: Dallas, Texas
High School: Bishop Dunne HS
Five best offers: Oklahoma, Texas, Florida State, Notre Dame, Texas A&M
Tom Cruise rating: 4.5 Cruises

2019 statistics: Played in 12 games, 8 tackles.


Let's start here: a mid four-star recruit - someone from Dallas with offers from Oklahoma and Texas and Texas A&M - gets a massive spotlight year three. It's just how it works. Some players are slow-starters, so during underclassmen years, you never say "why haven't we seen the top-250 player we recruited?". But junior year (or redshirt sophomore year), it's spotlight time. No way to avoid it. So this is a spotlight year for Calvin Avery and Verdis Brown. And 2021 is a spotlight year for Marquez Beason, Isaiah Williams, and Shammond Cooper. That's just how the whole thing works.

Avery, if you don't remember, was the big get in the 2018 class. #216 in the composite rankings. Apply my formula (85 scholarship players in football, 13 in basketball, 85/13=6.54, so divide the ranking by 6.5) and Calvin Avery is the equivalent of the #33 player in the basketball rankings. Let's look at the basketball rankings and find the player ranked #33 nationally and... it's some guy named Adam Miller going to Illinois. The expectations for Calvin Avery = the expectations for Adam Miller.

That's not the player Illinois fans have seen thus far. But it's still "early".

2020 Outlook

I originally had him pretty high on my list. This is a list of most-important players, and he was going to be quite important. After Jamal Milan, Tymir Oliver, and Kenyon Jackson all graduated, I think we all looked around last winter and said that Avery making the leap was #1 on all of our wish lists.

Now, with Roderick Perry transferring in from South Carolina State, an Avery leap is now less important. Well, it's important - let's say "less necessary". It absolutely had to happen before Perry transferred in. Now, it would just be really, really great.

So far, Avery has mostly just been a third-and-short and goal line DT. Which is fine. He was big on the Wisconsin goal line stand. I'm just hoping for so much more. I want an every-down monster DT, so I'm going to keep on hoping until I get it.


jono426 on October 10, 2020 @ 07:31 AM

I know his weight is always an issue. Where would the staff like him to be?

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