Gaffney star linebacker Brayshawn Littlejohn commits to Missouri football

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Gaffney senior linebacker Brayshawn Littlejohn has committed to Missouri.

"Mizzou is a very special place," Littlejohn said. "You can feel that there's a real connection between the people there."

Listed as a three-star prospect on Rivals, Littlejohn earned 23 offers, but chose Missouri over other finalists Appalachian State, Charlotte, Colorado and Georgia State.

One of the reasons was the connection with co-defensive coordinator and linebackers coach, DJ Smith — a former Appalachian State and NFL linebacker.

"There's no pretending or nothing like that with the staff there," Littlejohn said. "Coach DJ Smith is a great coach and a great person to be around. He's just a person that I built a connection with."

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A hybrid outside linebacker and edge rusher, Littlejohn led his team in tackles with 87, tackles for loss with 20 and sacks with 5.5 last season. Gaffney had an undefeated season and won the AAAAA state championship over powerhouse Dutch Fork.

Gaffney coach Dan Jones thinks Littlejohn has the frame, speed and coverage ability to thrive at the next level.

"He's long, quick off the ball and very aggressive as far as attacking the ball. Also, he gives you length when he does drop back and plays the pass. And on the screen game or the outside run game, he's the contain guy a lot of times, so it's tough on a receiver to block him and help the tunnel screen go ... with him outside setting the edge," Jones said.

As for which linebacker role Missouri fans can expect to see him play at the next level, Littlejohn said, "We talked about the transition to the next level and my position, and we came to a decision together that I would play at all three spots, right-side outside linebacker, left-side outside backer and on the inside," Littlejohn said.

This article originally appeared on Herald-Journal: Gaffney star linebacker Brayshawn Littlejohn commits to Mizzou