Donnie Avery played at the University for four years and helped the Cougars win the Conference USA Championship in 2006. The St. Louis Rams took him in the second round of the 2008 NFL draft.
The Daily Cougar: I saw your new pictures (in your Rams uniform). Donnie Avery: Yeah, we’re going to California for the (NFL) rookie premiere in a couple of weeks, and I had a photo shoot. It sounds crazy. It sounds like something girls do (laughs) but I had a little photo shoot and they gave me a CD with all my pictures on it.
The Daily Cougar: What are you going to be doing there? Will rookies from all over the country be attending? Avery: The top draft picks, the skill positions, they go down there to do trading card deals. Like Upper Deck, Topps…those are the type of companies. They’ll give me a Rams uniform and they take action shot pictures of stuff and me for companies that I’ve had to deal with. The rookies have Pepsi (as a sponsor) down here in St. Louis. I got a lot of free stuff: free watches, a free Wii. The Daily Cougar: You got a Wii? Avery: Yeah, I got a free Wii, but I can’t get the hang of it.
The Daily Cougar: Do you have your own uniform already? Does it say your name on the back and everything? Avery: Yeah, I already gave my mom and dad their jerseys. I’ve got to give my sisters and brothers theirs now.
The Daily Cougar: Where are you right now? Avery: I’m in St. Louis right now. The Daily Cougar: Is that for training camp? Avery: Yeah, it’s like three-day mini camps. I’ve got to get up at 6:30 a.m. and be done by like 1(p.m.). The Daily Cougar: You have to do that every day? Avery: We do that Tuesday to Thursday. On Monday rookies have to be up there from 7:30 to 9:30(a.m.). The Daily Cougar: Are you tired? Avery: Yeah, I’m tired. For the trading card companies, I signed like 2,000 (or) 3,000 autographs today. The Daily Cougar: That’s a lot of autographs. It’s tiring, but is it worth it? Avery: It’s definitely worth it. People don’t understand. They say we get paid a lot of money, but at the same time, we earn every penny of it.
The Daily Cougar: After training camp and rookie day, do you get to come down to Houston for a bit? Avery: Yeah, I’m going to be down there to celebrate my birthday and Father’s Day this weekend. Then I’ve got to get back on a plane Sunday night and get down here for a meeting and workout. But (after the rookie preview) I get to stay in Houston for probably three weeks.
The Daily Cougar: Is being away from your family and Dionna (your daughter) hard? Do you talk to her a lot? Avery: Yeah, I talk to her every day. That’s what gets me by. That’s my motivation. That’s why I’m here, at football camp, playing for my daughter here. I know I wouldn’t be here, (playing) professional football, and much less college, without the help of my little girl. I’m doing this for her and I’m doing this for the love of the game. The Daily Cougar: Does she know what’s going on? Does she know you’re in St. Louis playing football? Avery: She asks me every day where I am and I tell her daddy had to catch a plane out of town. She’s kind of scared of planes, but she knows I’m away. She knows I’m out of town, but as long as she gets to talk to me every day, she’s cool.