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July 22, 2021

C.J. Avery

Charlotte, North Carolina, USA

Louisville Cardinals

Press Conference

THE MODERATOR: Questions for C.J.

Q. Describe the decision-making process when evaluating whether or not to return.

C.J. AVERY: Well, it was just between me and my family. I decided that it was a better chance for me to come back, better my future, then just end my career here at University of Louisville on the right note.

Q. Since Scott Satterfield took over this program, how have you seen this defense change? What does this defense look like compared to the last few years?

C.J. AVERY: I just think this defense trust each other, better well-rounded defense at each position. We have new guys at the safety position, but I think they'll come up and step up big in their roles. Cornerback position we look great. Front seven, we continue to get better each year. This defense just turned it around completely.

Q. Only two ACC teams that are playing this year were better defensively than you were in terms of scoring defense. What makes this Louisville defense so hard to score against?

C.J. AVERY: I think it's just the passing game. Our corners and our safeties, linebackers as well, we do a great job of coverage and tightening up the coverage.

Now all we got to do is bring pressure with that, we'll create more turnovers. That will make us one of the top defenses for ongoing years.

Q. An overall look at Louisville going into 2021, where has this team improved the most coming out of the spring and how do you define what this team will be stepping forward?

C.J. AVERY: I think within our program we've improved the most with leadership. We have a lot more guys willing to be leaders and step up, make sure the team comes together and plays at one. That's the key thing. If you don't have any leaders on your team, it's kind of hard to be a great team. That's what we've improved the most.

Q. It is rare these days to find a five-year starter on a team. What is it you want to accomplish this year?

C.J. AVERY: I want to accomplish the ACC Championship with my brothers. Simple as that. We're working hard. We're just trying to get to that ACC Championship and turn this Louisville program around.

Q. Taking a look at your progress through the system, you're in your master's program, why is it important for you to have a master's degree?

C.J. AVERY: I just think it's extremely important to open up doors for yourself. I work my tail off my whole life. I tried to get everything I can out of the University of Louisville. I'm proud to say that I'm working towards that master's degree to get me in doors that I never could have imagined I could get into.

THE MODERATOR: C.J., thank you.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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