|Avery reflects, provides take on secondary|
|Written by Matt Pargoff|
Junior cornerback Courtney Avery saw extensive action last fall, starting three games and playing in each of the remaining ten. While he contributed throughout the year, one play in particular follows him in the eyes of fans; an interception late in the game against the Wolverines’ archrival, which locked up victory for the Maize and Blue.
“People recognize me a little bit more now,” he noted. “People come up to me and go ‘hey, you’re that guy that got that interception against Ohio State.’ I get that a lot.”
The victory against the Buckeyes, and his role in it, carried special meaning for Avery, given that he hails from Mansfield, Ohio, which lies as at the midway point between Cleveland and Columbus.
“My dad was a big Ohio State fan, but I really was just in the middle –I wasn’t a big fan of anybody,” he explained. “He was really excited I made the play. My mom and my dad were up there just being really happy, thanking God, crying and everything.
“It meant a lot. It was just a great time for me and for my family. It made it a lot nicer going back home.”
While his father had always followed the Scarlet and Gray, Avery explained that it did not take long for that allegiance to be shifted in favor of the Wolverines.
“Once I signed the paper for the Maize and Blue, he was bleeding blue, just like me,” said the cornerback. “He got rid of all his Ohio State stuff. I had to help him out a little bit. I had to remove some articles of clothing to help him out a little bit. But he was behind me 100 percent. That’s what’s so good about family; they’ll be behind you no matter what decisions you make.”
As one of the experienced upperclassmen on the squad now, Avery went on to provide his take on what he has seen from the incoming freshmen class.
“Really they’re all just doing what freshmen should be doing,” he noted. “They’re coming in, learning, trying to perform a little bit, but they haven’t really done too much, because they’re still in school right now. It’s hard to get a good read on them.
“They’ve been practicing, but not enough to make a clear judgment on their performance … I think they’re all coming along. They’re all adjusting. Right now I think they’re more concerned with learning the plays and learning the system and after that they’ll really get more comfortable and show what they can do.”
The Wolverines have had two departures from the team in recent weeks, both in the secondary, with junior Terrence Talbott and redshirt freshman Tamani Carter each opting to leave the program early. Despite the losses, Avery explained that the depth in the defensive backfield remains strong.“We still have quite a bit of depth,” he state. “We have some young guys and you’ve just got to keep moving on. The guys that are here, we’ve got to pick up the slack. We’ll get more reps in practice and those are reps that we need to take to improve and get better.”