Height: 5-11 Weight: 200 Age: 32
Born: 6/12/1984 Houston , TX
Selected By: St. Louis Rams
Pick (Overall): 2 (33)
Blessed with incredible speed, Donnie Avery is difficult for cornerbacks to catch once he reaches a clearing.
Avery, clocked at 4.2 seconds in the 40-yard dash, put his quickness to good use during a breakout performance in 2007. He led Conference USA and ranked fourth in the nation with an average of 112 receiving yards per game, while his averaged of seven catches per contest also led the league and ranked 14th nationally.
In addition, he shattered school and conference records during his final campaign with 346 yards receiving in the Rice contest, becoming the first player in C-USA annals to gain over 300 yards receiving in a game. His 427 all-purpose yards in that game also set new league and Houston records, topping his own record set two weeks earlier with 350 yards vs. East Carolina.
At Hastings High School, Avery was a unanimous first-team All-District selection as both a wide receiver and return specialist during his final season. He helped lead the team to the district championship and an 11-3 record, hauling in 36 passes for 502 yards and two touchdowns to lead the District 19-5A receivers in 2002. He also returned 13 punts for 399 yards and three scores, as well as seven kickoffs for 345 yards and one touchdown, in addition to rushing 16 times for 175 yards and two scores.
Avery turned down scholarship offers from Kansas State, Tennessee, Texas Christian, New Mexico and Kansas when he decided to enroll at Houston in 2003. He competed on the scout team that year, moving into the starting lineup for all 11 games in 2004.
He finished fourth on the team with 18 receptions for 293 yards (16.3-yard average) and two scores, adding 343 yards on 18 kickoff returns (19.1 avg). He also returned three punts for 28 yards (9.3 avg) and registered seven tackles (four solo) with a stop for a two-yard loss. For his efforts, he was selected to the Freshman All-Conference USA squad.
As a sophomore, Avery started eight of 12 contests. He ranked third on the team with 44 receptions and second with 688 yards (15.6-yard average), including five touchdowns. He also produced five solo tackles. Eight of his catches were for 20 yards or longer.
In 2006, Avery appeared in 14 contests, earning 12 starts. He ranked second on the Cougars with 57 catches for 852 yards (14.9-yard average) and five touchdowns, as 12 of those grabs were for gains of at least 20 yards. He totaled 113 yards on six kickoff returns (18.8 avg) and amassed 965 all-purpose yards.
Avery earned All-American second-team honors as an all-purpose back from The NFL Draft Report. He was a consensus All-Conference USA first-team choice as a receiver and second-team pick on special teams. He paced the Cougars with a career-high 91 catches for 1,456 yards (16.0 avg) and seven touchdowns. Seventeen of his catches were for at least 20 yards, as he also returned 15 kickoffs for 424 yards (28.3 avg) and a score. He recorded two solo tackles and generated 1,880 all-purpose yards.
Avery started 42 of 50 games at Houston. He became the third player in school history to gain over 3,000 yards receiving, as he caught 210 passes for 3,289 yards (15.7-yard average) and 19 touchdowns. He had 41 catches for 20 yards or longer and returned 40 kickoffs for 896 yards (22.4-yard average), including one score. He added 28 yards on three punt returns (9.3 avg) and recorded 14 tackles (11 solo) with a stop for a two-yard loss. He amassed 4,213 all-purpose yards, an average of 84.26 yards per game.