This guy could be a Cowboy sleeper...

Discussion in 'Draft Zone' started by InmanRoshi, Feb 27, 2006.

  1. InmanRoshi

    InmanRoshi Zone Scribe

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    Noseguard Jeff Littlejohn from Middle Tennessee State. DL Coach Kacy Rogers coached him recruited him and coached him two years. Also was a teammate of Thomas Johnson. He was one of the Top 5 DL prospects in the nation coming out of high school, signed with Miami but didn't make his grades. He's slated to be a late Day 2 pick.

    Littlejohn sets sights on NFL draft
    ¦ Former GHS star records tackle for loss in All-American game
    By LARRY HILLIARD Ledger Sports Editor

    Jeff Littlejohn drew a lot of attention this season from opposing teams and from pro scouts.

    And he doesn’t mind it one bit.

    “As a nose guard, you get double teamed,” he said.

    College all-star games are no exception. The 6-foot-2, 318 lb. Littlejohn faced double teams at last Saturday’s 5th Annual Las Vegas AllAmerican Classic, the nation’s largest college all-star game.

    Despite the constant attention, Littlejohn recorded a tackle and a tackle for a loss.

    “I got double teamed a lot,” he said. But Littlejohn doesn’t worry about individual stats. He knows his job to clog up the middle and free up the linebackers make the tackle.

    “The NFL scouts don’t go by the game,” he said. “They go by practice.”

    And Littlejohn said he had a solid week of practice.

    “The scouts didn’t see me play this year but they said they heard of me,” Littlejohn said.

    After spending a few days with his family in Gaffney, Littlejohn returned to Atlanta this week to begin a two-aday training regimen with two other draft prospects in preparation for next month’s NFL combine.

    “When you go to the combine, they want to put you through a series of tests,” he said. “They will test your footwork, your vertical jump and 40 time.

    “Now, I just plan to stay in the weight room and do anything I can to get better. I just want to stay positive and stay focused.”

    That hasn’t been a problem for Littlejohn in the past.

    Littlejohn was rated among the top defensive linemen in the country according to most recruiting services as a senior at Gaffney. He signed with Miami but enrolled at Middle Tennessee State, where he quickly made a name for himself.

    This season, he was named the Sun Belt Conference Defensive Player of the Year after posting 7.5 tackles for losses, a sack and an interception.

    Littlejohn has signed with an agent and is cautiously optimistic his name will be called during April’s NFL draft.

    “I’m hoping to get drafted. I’m really not concerned about it,” he said. “I know that it looks real good for me. I know the Lord will put me where He wants me to be.”

    Littlejohn doesn’t know what round he’s likely to be drafted but he does know one thing about his NFL employer the team will play a 3-4 defense.

    “I don’t know how many teams play a 3-4, but it’ll be a 3-4 team,” he said. “It’s how I will fit into their system.”
  2. Clove

    Clove Shrinkage

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    I mentioned this guy on one of my Cowboys mock draft for the 6th round, here's his bio.

    DT - Jeff Littlejohn 6'1 (323) Middle Tennessee State

    Jeff is a massive pure nose tackle who may even get bigger and become a classic 2-gap run stuffing, constantly-double teamed guy at the next level. He is strong, quick in limited areas and active. He has more than one move and knows how to keep his legs clean. Fights through trash and is constantly occupying two blockers. Jeff is very aware in the passing game also, totalling 35 pass breakups and 3 ints in HS. He began to flash that unusual proclivity again during his final season at MTSU. Jeff is a very friendly guy from a huge family who really loves kids and will not be a problem off the field despite some issues with little scrapes in HS. He will need to work harder in the pass rush area in order to maxmize his pro game, but you can't teach this type of size, toughness and tenacity. He may be THE sleeper of this year's DT crop, and could wind up going in the middle rounds of the draft with good post season workouts.
  3. ddh33

    ddh33 Active Member

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    Good find. Those ties and connections mean something, I believe. And since I think Dallas won't make NT a huge priority, this guy might be a nice fit.
  4. austintodallas

    austintodallas Consider Yourself Sucked

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    I like him. We're gonna need somebody to rotate with Ferguson.
  5. Sitting Bull

    Sitting Bull Active Member

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    Excellent find. I agree, this is the type of "connected" player we might target late.
  6. Chocolate Lab

    Chocolate Lab Run-loving Dino

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    Great find, IR. Only question I'd have is if we really need another NT with Parcells really liking Ferguson and Pepper Johnson. Sounds like a great late-round prospect, though.

    Football - December 6, 2005
    Littlejohn named SBC Defensive Player of the Year
    MT Media Relations


    MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - Senior Jeff Littlejohn was tabbed the Sun Belt Conference Defensive Player of the Year and eight total players earned all-conference honors as announced by the league today. Middle Tennessee also had two players earn honorable mention honors.

    # Store: 2005 Football Season Highlight DVD

    The league's coaches and selected media members honored junior Germayle Franklin, junior Eugene Gross, junior Willie Hall, Littlejohn, junior J.K. Sabb, senior Cleannord Saintil, junior Colby Smith, and senior Quinton Staton as all-league picks while sophomore Bradley Robinson and junior Clint Marks earned honorable mention honors.

    Littlejohn and Saintil made first team, while Franklin, Gross, Hall, Sabb, Smith, and Staton were voted to the second team.

    The eight players selected to the first and second teams are the most by the Blue Raiders since 11 were honored in 2001.

    Littlejohn, who led a Blue Raider defense that turned in its best year in the I-A era, finished with 34 tackles, 7.5 tackles for loss, two sacks, an interception, and a blocked field goal. However, what he did all year in clogging up the middle could not be displayed on the stat sheet. The Gaffney, S.C., native consistently faced double teams and made it extremely hard for the opposition to run on the Blue Raiders.

    "This is a great honor and I am very appreciative of how the coaches and media viewed me as a player this year," Littlejohn said. "But this is a team game and I could not have received this award without the support and high level play of my teammates. Our entire defense stepped it up this year and I will always remember playing with this bunch. It was special."

    Littlejohn becomes the first player of the year since Dwone Hicks and Wes Counts in 2001 and is the first defensive player of the year since Mike Caldwell in 1992.

    "It all starts up front and Jeff Littlejohn was the anchor all year, along with Quinton (Staton)," said Head Coach Andy McCollum. "He disrupted offenses all year long just the way Brandon Kennedy did for North Texas a few years back. Jeff is a quality person and no one deserves this honor more."
  7. junk

    junk I've got moxie

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    I'd certainly rather grab a NT late as opposed to in the first couple of rounds.
  8. neosapien23

    neosapien23 Well-Known Member

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    I wish Dallas had a 4th rounder to get this guy.
  9. InmanRoshi

    InmanRoshi Zone Scribe

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    I think you can probably get him with a 6th. From everything I read, he might go undrafted.
  10. ghst187

    ghst187 Well-Known Member

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    me too. This guy sounds like a good value in the last two rounds or UDFA. Definitely a 3-4 guy.
    I like Pepper J a lot but I'm not sure Pepper is a 3-4 NT, seems to be more of a 4-3 or nickel DT. thoughts?
    If Pepper isn't a 3-4 NT then it'd be good to get a guy for rotation purposes.
  11. Clove

    Clove Shrinkage

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    He will definitely be a second day player, but if he's around in the 6th, you have to pull the trigger.

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