Butler basketball standout Braylon Littlejohn commits to Miami (Ohio) — for football

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Wednesday, April 12, 2023 | 5:07 PM


When Butler’s Braylon Littlejohn committed to Miami (Ohio) on Tuesday, folks weren’t asking him about his choice of schools, but rather his choice of sports.

The 6-foot-1, 170-pound junior will play defensive back for the RedHawks football team.

“Everyone was texting me, ‘You committed for football?’” Littlejohn said. “I don’t think it was a surprise, but since we played in (District 10), I think it was a surprise for most people.”

Many around the WPIAL know Littlejohn more as a point guard and 21-point scorer for Butler’s basketball team. He’s also a talented defensive back and wide receiver on the football team, yet has a lower profile in that sport because Butler plays in District 10, not the WPIAL.

Miami coaches recognized his football potential and gave Littlejohn his first Division I offer in late January. About eight weeks later, he committed while making his second campus visit.

His relationship with Miami’s coaches won him over.

“I love how they coach, and I could tell they really wanted me,” he said, “and their campus is amazing.”

Littlejohn said Miami wanted him as a cornerback but also could use him at free safety. He was recruited by RedHawks cornerbacks coach Robert Blanton, who played at Notre Dame and in the NFL.

“Every day I’d get a text or a call from Coach Blanton or (head coach Chuck Martin),” Littlejohn said. “They kept in check with me. I really liked these guys.”

Until recently, Littlejohn wasn’t certain which sport he’d play in college. He thought some basketball offers might have come his way had he waited into the summer, but saw no need.

“After my second visit back to Miami, I figured that was home and committed there,” he said.

Butler’s football team left the WPIAL for a District 10 schedule before the 2020 season. Instead of Southwestern Pa. opponents, the Tornado face teams from Mercer, Erie and other northwestern counties.

The move was made to bolster a struggling program after winless seasons in 2018 and ‘19. Now in District 10, the team has won 11 games over the past three seasons.

“We’re better than what we had been,” Littlejohn said. “We went from 0-10 to winning.”

As a multi-sport athlete, he’ll spend this summer playing AAU basketball. However, he said he might start seeing himself more as a football player after making his college decision.

“It still hasn’t really clicked in fully that I’m committed (to play college football),” he said. “But now that I know, I’ve got to get focused on myself and the weight room.”

Chris Harlan is a TribLive reporter covering sports. He joined the Trib in 2009 after seven years as a reporter at the Beaver County Times. He can be reached at charlan@triblive.com.

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