Illini Scoops presents its second article in the “Illini Scoops freshman Spotlight Series”. This series will be about getting to know your Illini football and Illini men’s basketball newcomers. It will feature interviews about the player themselves, a review/prediction on how the player might impact the Illini team respectively, etc.

This article will focus on 2018 Illini football commit Calvin Avery from Dallas, Texas. Calvin had a plethora of big time offers from programs such as Nebraska, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Oklahoma St, Texas, Tennessee, and USC. Along with this, Calvin is the highest rated recruit in the Illinois 2018 recruiting class. He came in as a 4-star DT who is ranked as the 17th best player in Texas, 14th best defensive tackle in the nation, and 170th best overall player in the nation.

Calvin Avery is a program changing recruit because of his impact on and off the field. On the field, he will have a big impact this year as he is a 6-2″ 315 lbs defensive tackle with a decent amount of quickness. Calvin Avery should be able to provide strong minutes this season for a a defense that will be underrated. Off the field, his commitment opened up the Bishop Dunne High School pipeline which set up the commitment of highly touted 2019 recruit Marquez Beason and has instilled interest in his cousin Zeriah Beason, a 2020 class recruit.

Speaking to Calvin Avery

AS: How was moving into campus? Who would you say are you closest to?

Calvin Avery: It was good and I can’t really choose. I’d have to say Jamal Milan more than anybody else.

AS: How do you think the defensive line is gelling?

Calvin Avery: Yeah, since I’ve been here we have all been getting along pretty well. The old guys have been teaching the young guys well. And overall no problems so far.

AS: Are you ready for camp and what are you hoping to learn there?

Calvin Avery: Absolutely ready! Being a defensive tackle I’m looking forward to hitting at camp. Also I’m hoping to get used to the college speed at camp.

AS: What do you think this year’s team can/should a accomplish this year?

Calvin Avery: Getting to a bowl game at least. That’s the goal.

Role for this Year:

As I mentioned previously in this article and as mentioned by Head Coach Lovie Smith today at B1G Ten Football Media Day, the area of concern is the defensive line, not because there isn’t talent, but there isn’t depth. Therefore I expect Calvin Avery to play big minutes, and possibly even start for this young defensive line. Also, Calvin is coming in with a big reputation as one of the nations best recruits. He’ll be expected to show his true talent game in and game out. I wouldn’t be surprised if he is one of the leaders in tackles for this year’s team. By the end of this year, I expect Calvin Avery to be a fan favorite in the Illini fan base.

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