2011 Countdown: #22 Courtney Avery

2011 Countdown: #22 Courtney Avery


August 9, 2011
Courtney Avery (#5)

Name: Courtney Avery
Height: 5’11”
Weight: 167 lbs.
High school: Lexington High School in Lexington, OH
Position: Cornerback
Class: Sophomore
Jersey number: #5
Last year: I ranked Avery #70 and said he would redshirt.  He started the last 5 games of 2010 and made 36 tackles, 1/2 a tackle for loss, 1 forced fumble, and 4 pass breakups.

Avery began fall camp with an outside chance at being a contributor.  By the end of the year, he was starting. That tends to happen when cornerbacks #1 and #2 get ankle injuries and a highly touted recruit transfers (Troy Woolfolk, J.T. Floyd, and Justin Turner, respectively).  Avery probably would have been better served by redshirting, learning the ropes, and adding some bulk, but he didn’t have that opportunity.  Lack of readiness aside, Avery looked like he had the hips and speed to stay with Big Ten receivers, and he was a willing tackler – unlike, say, Cullen Christian – despite being 165 pounds soaking wet after Thanksgiving dinner.  In those five starts, he tallied 26 tackles, 1/2 a TFL, 1 the forced fumble, and 2 pass breakups.  Project those starting statistics and you come up with 68 tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss, 3 forced fumbles, and 5 pass breakups.  Those wouldn’t be bad numbers for a freshman corner.

This year Avery is in a battle for the starting cornerback job.  Unbelievably, he was the most experienced cornerback participating in spring practices, what with Woolfolk and Floyd still out due to their injuries and last year’s other starter, James Rogers, having graduated.  But Woolfolk and Floyd will be fighting to win their jobs back, and true freshman Blake Countess has been making some noise in summer 7-on-7s.  Floyd, however, has always been a little overmatched physically, and Countess is in almost the exact same spot Avery was last year – athletic but small, inexperienced, and probably better off seeing time only in certain situations.  I think Avery will win the job opposite Woolfolk, and while he won’t be an all-conference-level player this season, he should look pretty good if the front seven can generate the pass rush that didn’t exist in 2010.

Prediction: Starting cornerback; 40 tackles, 2 interceptions

7 comments

  1. Comments: 21628
    Aug 09, 2011 at 12:33 PM

    Eyewitness accounts say that Avery has bulked up considerably. If this proves to be true in the soon-to-be-released roster weights it would bode very well for his success this year. Kid looks like a gamer with good football smarts.

  2. Comments: 21628
    Nick.
    Aug 09, 2011 at 1:35 PM

    If he really has put on some weight and is able to improve off last year then the fight at CB position could be a good one. Woolfolk and Floyd along with Avery gives us three solid starters. Now the concern shifts to the safety position. I can't imagine Avery getting to more than 180-185 with his frame though.

  3. Comments: 21628
    Aug 09, 2011 at 2:41 PM

    JT Floyd is terrible and should be the nickel corner at best. He plays on skates and is a very poor tackler!

  4. Comments: 21628
    Aug 09, 2011 at 3:44 PM

    I agree with Caleb. I wouldn't say Floyd is terrible, but I think Avery has shown he can outplay Floyd, and that should show even more this year if Avery has bulked up, especially since we don't know how Floyd will handle perform coming back from his injury.

  5. Comments: 21628
    Lutha
    Aug 09, 2011 at 5:11 PM

    @Nick: I agree with Caleb…JT Floyd should be playing safety, not CB.

  6. Comments: 21628
    Aug 09, 2011 at 8:13 PM

    Avery checks in at 173 lbs on the updated roster, which is an increase of 6 pounds. With this added weight, Avery can claim to be just over half the size of Chris Bryant, who checks in at 341. Delonte Hollowell on the other hand…

  7. Comments: 21628
    KB
    Aug 09, 2011 at 9:35 PM

    Woolfolk, Floyd and Avery. I'm confused…. is this that thing called depth?

    I think Avery's career trajectory is going to end up rather similar to Leon Hall's. Both came in undersized and played well for freshman but didn't wow anyone. Ideally neither would have seen the field at all in year one. As sophomores they'll play in every game but not start, they'll have solid but quite junior years and then suddenly as a senior Hall was a shut down Big 10 corner and I think Avery will follow suit.

    I was wondering what the odds are that Countess jumps Avery in the pecking order. Does experience at corner outweigh any skill set advantage Countess have over Avery? Or is redshirting Countess outweigh any on the field advantage?

    Caleb- I don't think Floyd is as bad as you make him out to be. He was often put out on an island last year against a teams #1 WR and had to cover the WR for an infinite amount of time considering we never rushed more than 3 or 4 players. Floyd isn't a traditional Michigan #1 CB but he's a very decent #2.

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