O-A News National Signing Day Luncheon

Auburn High's Anthony Imperio signs with Eastern Illinois to play football on Feb. 6, 2019.

At the start of Eastern Illinois’ season, Smiths Station alum Chad Strickland got the nod to play left tackle for the Panthers. Now, another local standout is playing on the other end of the line.

Former Auburn High player Anthony Imperio started at right tackle for Eastern Illinois on Saturday. Imperio is part of a youth movement on the offensive line for EIU, as the team used four freshmen on its five-man line last week against Tennessee Tech.

Imperio and the Panthers came up just short against Murray State on Saturday, losing to the Racers 24-17.

Imperio, a 6-foot-4, 275-pound true freshman, came to Eastern Illinois after a solid high school career for the Tigers. Imperio played on the line while at Auburn and paved the way for a 2018 offense that averaged 28.9 points per game and helped the Tigers win 10 games.

Imperio graded out at 90 percent blocking with seven pancakes and four sacks allowed as a senior. He was twice selected to the All-Area team during his high school career.

Here’s a roundup of the other former Friday night stars who showed out:

Auburn High

Avery Atkins, LSU – Atkins had five touchbacks in the Tigers’ 42-6 victory over Utah State.

Cally Chizik, Furman – Chizik had three tackles and 0.5 tackles for loss in the Paladins’ 58-14 victory over Samford.

Mohamoud Diabate, Florida – Diabate had two tackles in the Gators’ 24-13 victory over No. 7 Auburn.

Tre’Shun Floyd, Samford – Floyd had five tackles in the Bulldogs’ 58-14 loss to Furman.

Central-Phenix City

Jaxton Carson, North Alabama – Carson had 12 carries for 44 yards and one touchdown in the Lions’ 40-34 loss to Hampton.

Karon Delince, ETSU – Delince had four tackles in the Buccaneer’ 35-17 loss to Wofford.

Darius King, Alabama State – King had one tackle in the Hornets’ 35-7 loss to Alcorn State.

Traveon Samuel, Memphis – Samuel had three receptions for 17 yards in the Tigers’ 52-33 victory over UL-Monroe.

LaFayette

JaTarvious Whitlow, Auburn – Whitlow had 18 carries for 81 yards in the Tigers’ 24-13 loss to No. 10 Florida.

Lanett

Marlon Bridges, Jacksonville State – Bridges had four tackles and 0.5 tackles for loss in the Gamecocks’ 31-23 victory over Tennessee State.

Ja’Won Howell, North Alabama – Howell had one reception for 23 yards in the Lions’ 40-34 loss to Hampton.

Opelika

Will Boller, UAB – Boller had four tackles in the Blazers’ 35-20 victory over Rice.

Kyle Fourtenbary, Western Kentucky – Fourtenbary had 1 reception for 18 yards in the Hilltoppers’ 20-3 victory over Old Dominion.

Josh Johnson, UL-Monroe – Johnson had 19 carries for 119 yards in the Warhawks’ 52-33 loss to Memphis.

Jamias Presley, Jacksonville State – Presley had one tackle in the Gamecocks’ 31-23 victory over Tennessee State.

Boosie Whitlow, Louisville – Whitlow had one tackle in the Cardinals’ 41-39 victory over Boston College.

Roy Yancey, South Alabama – Yancey had four tackles in the Jaguars’ 20-17 overtime loss to Georgia Southern.

Zack Yancey, ETSU – Yancey had six tackles in the Buccaneers’ 35-17 loss to Wofford.

Smiths Station

Justin Brown, Tennessee State – Brown had four tackles in the Tigers’ 31-23 loss to Jacksonville State.

Chad Strickland, Eastern Illinois – Strickland started at left tackle in the Panthers’ 24-17 loss to Murray State.

Deondrae Williams, Navy – Williams had one tackle in the Midshipmen’s 34-25 victory over Air Force.

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