A wide receiver U the list of great athletes is long and distinguished, but Donnie Avery stands out. Avery came to Houston from Alief Hastings as a burner and a focal point of Art Briles' first recruiting class and rebuild. He caught eighteen passes in 2004, 44 in 2005, and 57 in 2006 before exploding in 2007.
Avery set a school and CUSA record with 91 catches in '07, twelve more than any other receiver in the league. 2007 was a pretty good year for CUSA receivers; the top three were Avery, Rice's Jarret Dillard, and SMU's Emmanuel Sanders. Seven of those catches went for scores. Avery was also an electric kick returner, averaging 28 yards per kick in 2007. The Coogs won eight games, and Briles parlayed his Houston success into the Baylor job.
At his pro-day Avery ran a blistering 4.28 forty yard dash with a 37 inch vertical. The St. Louis Rams selected Avery in the second round of the 2008 NFL draft. Avery caught 218 passes in six NFL seasons with the Rams, Titans, Colts, and Chiefs. He caught 60 balls for the Colts in 2012.
Happy 34th BIrthday to a great Cougar.