Getting to know: Cornerback signee Avery Helm

Apr 10, 2020 | 0 comments


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Like every other young football player around the country, Gators 2020 cornerback signee Avery Helm‍ has NFL aspirations. Unlike most other players around the country, he has a perfect example to follow.

Helm trains three days a week with Jacksonville Jaguars nickelback D.J. Hayden, who’s from nearby Houston and was a first-round draft pick by the Detroit Lions in 2013. The two have trained together for a while, and Helm actually played wide receiver when they first started working out, he said.

“It’s very beneficial because I watch him, and I do what he does,” he said. “So, I just try to emulate it and then do it better and hopefully I can get where he’s at.”

With Gainesville and Jacksonville less than two hours apart, he plans to continue getting together with Hayden every now and then to get some work in.


Helm will enroll at UF over the summer and begin training with his new team, assuming the players are allowed in the facilities by then. In the meantime, the Gators’ strength and conditioning staff sent him some “weightlifting stuff” for him to do, and he has his own defensive back drills that he completes daily.

Inside the Gators takes an in-depth look at Helm on and off the field in this edition of “Getting to Know.”

Personal

What do you plan to major in? 
“I plan to major in sports medicine. Going through the rehab process [as a junior], that’s something I can see myself doing for somebody else. I feel like that’s a big part of somebody’s recovery and stuff, so I like that.”

If you a chance to go on a dream date, who would it be with? 
“It would have to be with India Royale.”

What would be your first purchase if you got drafted in the first round of the NFL Draft? 
“I don’t know. I’d just have to see that day I signed the contract. I’d try to buy a whole bunch of stuff.”

What is one item that you cannot live without? 
“My phone, for sure.”

What is your favorite professional football team? 
“It was the Texans before they traded [DeAndre Hopkins]. I’m a D-Hop fan; that’s my boy. I’m not a Texans fan anymore. I resigned.”

Who is your favorite professional player right now? 
DeAndre Hopkins or Jalen Ramsey. [I like] their attitude and their game. They go with a ‘I’m the best’ mindset.”

Who has been the biggest role model for you in your life? 
“I would say my grandpa because he went through a heart surgery, and I liked how he stayed positive. The whole family was down for a little bit, but he kept everybody up. He kept everybody in high spirits, and he made it through. That showed me a lot about him.”

What are your favorite types of music? Do you have a favorite artist or song? 
“I like rap. I like some country music, too. I can listen to that. My favorite artist is G Herbo.”

What is your favorite movie? 
“I really don’t like movies. I can’t really sit down that long, just sit there and watch it.”

What is your favorite TV show? 
“Rick and Morty.”

If you could spend the day with anyone, past or present, who would it be and why? 
“I’d spend my day with G Herbo. That’s what I want to do, see how he living. I know he having fun.”

Where do you see yourself five years from now? 
“Hopefully, I’m in my second or third year in the NFL, hopefully a successful businessman at the moment too.”

What are three things on your bucket list? 
“I want to go deep-sea fishing. What else can I do? Deep-sea fishing, for sure. I want to go on a week cruise, and third, I would say skydiving, but I think I’m a little afraid of heights sometimes, so I don’t know if I’d jump. But I want to try it, though.”

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Football

Take us through the process that led to your commitment. What was that experience like for you? 
“Recruiting experience was crazy for me at first. Universities started popping out with all the offers and stuff, and then I had torn my ACL in the playoffs of my junior year. That’s what really helped me settle my decision. A lot of schools told me a lot of different things about my injury and showed me how they really felt about me. Florida, Coach [Torrian] Gray, him talking to me through the whole thing, he going through that in the NFL when he blew his knee out, we had a connection there. That’s just where I felt comfortable.”

Which school came in second for you and why? 
“After I committed, I was pretty much locked in. Georgia tried to come in late, but, once I was committed, I was locked in.”

What was the craziest, strangest or weirdest moment of the recruiting cycle? 
“Probably after I tore my ACL. That’s when it showed me how real it is and how feelings really don’t matter.”

If there is one thing you could change about the recruiting process, what would it be? 
“It’s a part of the game, but I wish everybody would just keep it 100. Just tell me what it is, and I wish everybody would just be straightforward.”

If you could play a sport outside of football, which sport would it be? 
“I run track, but other than track, it would be baseball because they get drafted right out of high school, guaranteed money and then it looks easy. I know it’s hard, but it looks easy. Your body’s not getting beat up.”

What is your favorite football memory? 
“Sophomore year, I caught my first one-handed pick. I was excited after that.”

What would you say are some of your greatest strengths as a football player? What do you need to work on? 
“My greatest strength is, first, my speed. I can get back to the receiver. I can close space easily. And then I be knowing the play before it even starts, so my knowledge of the game. And then, sometimes, what I’d say I need to work on, I would say eye discipline because I’m hungry for interceptions, so that can get me in [trouble] sometimes. I’ve been working on it, though.”

What is the most appealing part to you about the University of Florida? 
“Gator Nation really. When I was talking to coaches about it, the alumni body, it’s like a family. Even after I graduate from Florida, I’m still always going to be a part of Gator Nation. It’s long-term.”

What do you really need to work on the most when you get to Florida? 
“One thing I’m going to work on the most would probably be an independent person. I’ve always been living with my parents. They took care of me my whole life. So, it’s going to be my first time, me making my own decisions. I’m going to definitely work on that.”

Who is the prospect that you have talked to the most from the Class of 2020? 
Rashad [Torrence II]. We took a visit together, and then we got cool. When I went on my official, that’s just who – right when I walked in the building, that’s who I seen, and we just locked in from the jump.”

If you could pick any jersey number, what would it be? 
“Hopefully, I can wear the number three one day at Florida.”

Who are you looking to room with once you get on campus? 
“Me and Rashad are going to be in there together.”

Which NFL player do you liken yourself to the most? 
“I don’t really like to compare myself, but I’d have to go with Richard Sherman. That’s pretty much who I take my game after. That’s who I watch. That’s who I study, pretty much. I like his mindset in the game.”

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