During his freshman season at Furman, former Auburn High defensive back Cally Chizik wasted little time in becoming an impact player for the Paladins.
With his sophomore season now underway, Chizik has proven there’s been little change to his style of play.
Chizik was once again a force on the Furman defense on Saturday by racking up six tackles — making him the Paladins’ second-leading tackler — against Samford. The sophomore’s efforts were crucial for Furman, which outlasted Samford in a 44-37 overtime thriller.
Chizik has been a consistent contributor through three games this season. He has the third-most tackles for the Paladins with 12 and also has two tackles for loss and one fumble recovery as part of a 2-1 Furman squad.
Chizik arrived at Furman as part of the 2019 recruiting class and earned playing time early on. He appeared in all 13 of the Paladins’ games at either cornerback or on special teams and ended his freshman campaign with 33 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, one sack, one forced fumble, and one interception.
Chizik recorded three tackles in each of his first three games with the Paladins’ first three games, including Furman’s showdown with Virginia Tech in which the then-true freshman recorded half of a sack.
Chizik, the son of former Auburn University football coach Gene Chizik, came to Furman after a standout career at Auburn High. He was a key piece on a 2018 Tigers’ defense that gave up just under 11 points per game, tallying 40 tackles with five for loss. Chizik also picked off two passes, recovered a fumble and broke up 14 passes in Auburn’s 10-win season.
Here’s a roundup of the other former Friday night stars from the area who stood out this weekend at the collegiate level:
Anthony Imperio, EIU — Imperio played but did not record any stats in the Panthers’ 28-15 loss to UT-Martin on Sunday.
Markail Benton, Jacksonville State — Benton had three tackles in the Gamecocks’ 38-16 victory over Tennessee State on Sunday.
Zion Webb, Jacksonville State — Webb was 21-of-33 passing for 280 yards with three touchdowns and one interception and rushed five times for 18 yards in the Gamecocks’ 38-16 victory over Tennessee State on Sunday.
Jamias Presley, Jacksonville State — Presley had one pass break-up in the Gamecocks’ 38-16 victory over Tennessee State on Sunday.
Chad Strickland, EIU — Strickland started at right tackle in the Panthers’ 28-15 loss to UT-Martin on Sunday.