Gene Swindoll, Gene's Page

Grenada All-American safety C.J. Avery holds a top five of Clemson, Florida State, Louisville, Mississippi State and Ole Miss.

Grenada, Mississippi superstar C.J. Avery made the rounds this summer in an effort to visit the schools he is most interested in. With five schools in mind, Avery is now ready to put recruiting on the back burner for a bit as he turns his mental and physical energy towards Grenada Charger football.

Last weekend, C.J. Avery and his GHS teammates took on two time defending state champion Noxubee County. While the scoreboard went the way of the Tigers, Avery believes his team learned some things about themselves that will help them this season.

"I think things went good. We just need to get back to practice and work on a couple of things," Avery said. "We have some things to work on, but I feel like we did some good things. I think our defense performed well. We have a defense where just about everybody came back, so we should have a good defense."

Grenada turned in a 10-3 mark last fall for Coach Ashley Kuhn. The 2015 campaign was the third consecutive season that the Chargers made the playoffs. After a second round exit last fall, Avery is determined to make his final season in the Charger uniform his best one.

"We all just need to execute the plan that we have," Avery said. "If we come out and play our best and be good leaders, I believe that we can win a state championship."

The prospects of playoffs and possible championships is what the Scout National 300 member wants to discuss these days. Fall practice has brought a welcome respite for the four star safety who spent most of his summer deliberating his college future.

"I don't have to worry about recruiting everyday now," Avery said. "Now I can just focus on what I love instead of having to think about all of that everyday. I visited all of the schools that I wanted to and I feel like I have a good grasp on things now. I know what all of the schools have to offer now."

Avery hinted at a possible pre-season decision, but with the season opener now mere days away, it appears that fans waiting for a commitment will likely have to wait until after the season. With a December graduation date planned, Avery now plans to make the call once his high school season is over.

"I am doing to do it in December now," Avery said. "I don't have a leader right now. I still have some thinking to do, but right now I just want to focus on my team and our season."

Clemson, Florida State, Louisville, Mississippi State and Ole Miss are currently the finalists. While there has been talk of cutting the final five down to three contenders, Avery is not ruling any of the five contenders out at this point. 

With plans for a January enrollment, Avery has an abbreviated time frame. He admits that he has found a lot to like about each program still in contention, but his decision will ultimately be about what fits him best.

"I just want to feel comfortable with everything," Avery said. "I want to have a good relationship with all of the players and the coaches. I want the chance to be able to get on the field and compete for a spot on the field early in my career."

A formal announcement has not been set, but Avery will have the chance to do it on a the big stage if he desires. A shoe in for the Mississippi/Alabama All-Star game, Avery will also be playing in the Under Armour All-American game in Orlando, Florida on New Year's Day. 

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