Happy 29th Birthday to Seahawks Defensive End Cliff Avril!
Happy birthday to Cliff Avril, and happy birthday to J.R. Sweezy as well.
Avril, the defensive end the Seahawks acquired in free agency two seasons ago, turns 29 today. Sweezy, a seventh-round pick of Seattle in 2012, turns 26.
Yet the similarities between the pair of Seahawks starters goes beyond sharing the same date of birth. In high school, both players shared the same position: linebacker.
Avril, who attended Florida's Clay High School, was rated the 37th best outside linebacker in the country by Rivals.com after leading his team to an 11-2 record, registering 80 tackles, 9.0 sacks, 11 tackles for loss, and four passes defensed as a senior.
Sweezy, who prepped at North Carolina's Mooresville High, was a tackling machine. He racked up 195 stops his senior year to go with 14 tackles for loss, 6.0 sacks, and four fumble recoveries.
Happy 26th Birthday to Seahawks offensive guard J.R. Sweezy!
But at the pro level, the two players are excelling in different areas.
Avril was moved to defensive end during his final two seasons at Purdue, the same position he flourished at during his first five NFL seasons as a member of the Detroit Lions (2008-12), when he tallied 39.5 sacks. Through his first two years in Seattle, Avril has been a key cog in the Seahawks' defensive line rotation. His 13.0 sacks and six forced fumbles helped him [earn a four-year contract extension](http://www.seahawks.com/news/2014/12/19/seahawks-retain-another-core-defender-extending-cliff-avril "http://www.seahawks.com/news/2014/12/19/seahawks-retain-another-core-defender-extending-cliff-avril
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Sweezy's position switch has been well-documented. After starting 20 games along the defensive line at North Carolina State, the 6-foot-5, 298-pounder swapped to the offensive side of the football when Seahawks O-line coach Tom Cable came calling. During his rookie year, Sweezy split time with former Seahawks offensive lineman John Moffitt as the starter at right guard. He's grown into one of the game's best run-blockers at the spot over the past two seasons.