FORT WORTH, Texas — Like his fellow Horned Frog offensive star Quentin Johnston, TCU offensive lineman Steve Avila will be headed out west to play pro football in Los Angeles.
But unlike the wideout Johnston, who'll play for the Chargers, 6-foot-3, 332-pound Avila will be headed to the Rams.
In 2022-2023, the Arlington-born product of South Grand Prairie High School was a captain on the first TCU team to compete for a national college football championship since the 1930s. While that campaign might not have finished as he may have hoped, the two-time All-Big 12 honoree and second-team All-American leveraged his time in Fort Worth into becoming one of the top interior offensive line talents available in the 2023 NFL Draft.
The Rams selected Avila with the fifth pick in the second round, or 36th overall selection, in this year's draft. The selection was also the Rams' first in the 2023 Draft, as it represents the second of two first-round picks the team shipped as part of a package to the Lions in exchange for Avila's fellow North Texas product, quarterback Matthew Stafford, in early 2021.
According to a press release from TCU, Avila is the highest-drafted TCU offensive lineman since the Philadelphia Eagles selected Guy Morriss with the 28th overall pick in 1973.
Avila, who made starts at left guard, center, right guard and even right tackle at TCU, is also the third Horned Frog drafted by the Rams in the last six years. He'll join a Rams offensive line unit that also features former TCU OL Joe Noteboom, a third-round selection in 2018.
Perhaps the most impressive college stat for the newest member of the Los Angeles Rams? Avila didn't allow a single sack in his final two seasons at TCU.