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TCU OL Steve Avila leading in the trenches

The center-turned-guard has played like one of the premier offensive linemen in college football.

TCU v West Virginia Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images

TCU offensive lineman Steve Avila entered the 2022 season as an AP All-Big 12 First Team center as well as one of the highest-graded centers in college football according to Pro Football Focus. With the arrival of new head coach Sonny Dykes and a plethora of new assistants and transfers including fifth-year senior lineman Alan Ali, who has taken over at center for the Horned Frogs, Avila has continued to perform at a high level despite taking on a new position this season. Now starting at left guard, Avila remains high on NFL radars.

The 6-foot-4, 330-pounder has started 29 games for the Horned Frogs since the start of the 2020 campaign, playing multiple positions including center and left guard as well as spot starts at right guard and right tackle. One of TCU’s team captains this season, Avila has led the charge for a Horned Frog offense that stampeded for 234 rushing yards in a 34-24 win over Texas Tech on Saturday. TCU has been a top-3 rushing offense in the Big 12 Conference since Avila made his collegiate debut with the Horned Frogs as a redshirt freshman in 2019.

A former four-star prospect from South Grand Prairie High School, Avila was named to the AP Midseason All-American Team this season. Since opting to return for his redshirt senior season at TCU, Avila has remained on NFL radars and likely projects as a center at the next level. Avila has found himself on multiple 2023 NFL Mock Drafts and was recently listed as high as the No. 31 overall selection according to FOX Sports analyst Jason McIntyre. The NFL Mock Draft Database, which accumulates mock drafts from around the Internet, has Avila ranked as the No. 88 overall prospect and projects him as a third-round grade.

With Avila leading the way, TCU has seen multiple running backs including fifth-year senior Emari Demercado and Louisiana-Lafayette transfer Emani Bailey post career-best yards-per-carry averages this season. Meanwhile, Kendre Miller has eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark after only nine games and former TCU standout and five-star prospect Zach Evans, who transferred to Ole Miss during the offseason, has averaged 6.3 yards per carry for the Rebels after posting 7.3 yards per carry over his two seasons with the Horned Frogs.