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December 20, 2006The last time Blue White Illustrated talked to Blairstown (N.J.) Blair Academy running back Ed Imeokparia, the speedster was preparing for his senior season at Newark (Del.) High School, despite questions about his eligibility.
He never suited up for the Yellowjackets, and found himself playing at Blair Academy in north New Jersey; over 100 miles north of his old home. The switch caused Imeokparia to become part of the high school recruiting Class of 2008, and he will graduate in December 2007 and enroll somewhere in January 2008.
He had no reservations about believing the switch could help in his pursuit of a scholarship.
"From one standpoint, it really helped me," said Imeokparia. "It was unexpected, but in the long run, I think it helps. I wanted to get more experience going into college, I don't want to be an average freshman."
Imeokparia started at running back and cornerback in his first season at Blair, and had successful campaigns on both sides of the ball.
"This was my first real year on defense, and I think that I did pretty well," said Imeokparia, who ran a 4.41-second 40-yard dash at the State College Nike Camp last spring. "Colleges like that versatility. They like the fact that I could go in and play defense if they wanted me to."
On the recruiting front, Imeokparia has been in contact with some of the same colleges that he was getting letters from this summer.
"It's been Florida State, Miami, they've been recruiting me the hardest, but there's a lot of stuff going on down there, USC, Virginia Tech, Georgia and I'm still hearing from Penn State," said Imeokparia.
Imeokparia's eligibility troubles began when partial transcripts were sent from his old school in Philadelphia to Newark.
"My old school sent partial transcripts and I was playing with partial transcripts, which is against DIAA (Delaware Interscholastic Athletic Association) rules," said Imeokparia. "I had no idea, my coach had no idea, but the DIAA really cracked down on it this year."
The DIAA ruled that Glasgow (Del.) High used an ineligible player this season, and it cost the school its first trip to the state playoffs in 14 years.
Since Imeokparia did not appear in any games for the Yellowjackets, the team did not have to forfeit any of their wins (they did slide into the playoff spot vacated by Glasgow).
Imeokparia held two offers, from Michigan State and Colorado, as a part of the Class of 2007, but said that those two schools are not high on his list.
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