Former Auburn University and LaFayette High School star JaTarvious ‘Boobee’ Whitlow is transferring to Western Illinois, his family confirmed to the Opelika-Auburn News on Monday.
He signed his letter of intent on Thursday. He is enrolled and is taking classes this fall.
Western Illinois is an FCS program that competes in the Missouri Valley Football Conference, which has postponed play for the fall semester with plans to play an eight-game schedule in the spring.
Whitlow will be eligible to compete again immediately.
Whitlow was Auburn’s leading rusher two years in a row, becoming a standout fan-favorite for the Tigers after growing into a local legend at LaFayette.
He rushed for a team-best 763 yards and 10 touchdowns last year after rolling up 787 yards and six touchdowns on the ground for Auburn in 2018. At LaFayette he was an all-state star on the football field and on the basketball court, and he was a state champion in track and field. He powered LaFayette to its first undefeated regular season in program history in 2016, rolling up 2,292 passing yards and 29 passing touchdowns while running for another 2,147 rushing yards and 30 rushing touchdowns.
Whitlow is a rising redshirt junior with two years of NCAA eligibility left available to him. By transferring to an FCS team from an FBS team, he is eligible to play again right away. The NCAA has also offered eligibility relief for this year of competition over COVID-19 concerns. He redshirted his first season at Auburn in 2017 before playing in 2018 and 2019.