Lincolnton football fans wonâ€™t have far to travel to see some familiar faces on the college playing field in the 2012 season. Star fullback Dee Littlejohn and defensive back Jonathan Sherrill have both verbally committed to accept scholarships to play for the Gardner-Webb Runninâ€™ Bulldogs this fall, making them the first players from Lincolntonâ€™s 2011 roster to confirm that theyâ€™ll be playing at the next level.
Littlejohn finished his high school career with over 4,000 career rushing yards, and ended his senior season with 2,072 rushing yards and 36 touchdowns, making him the player with the most rushing yardage and scoring in Lincoln County history.
Sherrill was an integral part of Lincolntonâ€™s stingy defense that only allowed 218 yards and 15 points per game to its opponents.
Sherrill said his commitment to Gardner-Webb completed marked an important goal off of his to-do list.
â€œI like the fact that itâ€™s a Division I school, and that was one of my goals, to play at the Division I level,â€ he said. â€œMost of the defensive backs they had were upperclassmen, so theyâ€™ll be graduating this year. With me being a freshman and coming in, Iâ€™ll have the opportunity to play.â€
Littlejohn will be listed on the Runninâ€™ Bulldogs roster as a running back, and said heâ€™s looking forward to seeing how far he can take his college career.
â€œTheyâ€™re going to let me play the position that I like,â€ he said. â€œI just want to go in and do the best I can do and prepare myself for the next level. Iâ€™d like to have a college career like I did in high school.â€
Sherrill also said that Gardner-Webbâ€™s proximity, 33 miles from downtown Lincolnton, and the fact that heâ€™ll have a former teammate on the squad with him, were both pluses.
â€œItâ€™s good, because Iâ€™ll be there with somebody I know, somebody Iâ€™m close to, and itâ€™s close to home,â€ he said. â€œI wonâ€™t just be down there by myself, Iâ€™ll have a friend with me.â€
Sherrill plans to study psychology or sports management, while Littlejohn said heâ€™ll major in broadcasting.
Lincolnton head coach Scott Cloninger said senior running back and linebacker Michael Cunningham had been offered a scholarship by East Carolina University, but has yet to make a definite decision.