Top 50 most important Illini: No. 23, Calvin Avery

Top 50 most important Illini: No. 23, Calvin Avery

Vitals: 6-2, 330, DT

Hometown: Dallas

High School: Bishop Dunne

Looking back at 2017: Avery committed to Illinois in August of last year over a slew of Power 5 offers after he put up 68 tackles and 12 sacks during his junior season at Bishop Dunne. The four-star prospect — Illinois' highest-rated recruit in the 2018 class — followed that up by notching 51 tackles, including 20 tackles for loss and four sacks, in his senior season. All that earned him U.S. Army All-American Bowl and Under Armour All-America Game invites, and he played in the latter.

Looking ahead to 2018: Defensive tackle is one of the deeper positions for the Illinois defense, but Avery's abilities will likely have him in the mix for that rotation as a true freshman. Moreover, his successful recruitment was a major step in Texas for Illinois and has been followed by landing his Bishop Dunne teammates Kievan Myers for this season and a commitment from 2019 four-star athlete Marquez Beason.

Last year's ranking: N/A