Season Over, Work's Not For 2019 DB Commit Litchfield Ajavon

December 11, 2018
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Litchfield Ajavon‍ was already a mature kid, but the 2019 Notre Dame safety commit had to display even more maturity as a senior at Episcopal this season.

“He really took on the leadership and captain role this year,” Ajavon’s defensive backs coach Erik Nowell said. “With our school, we rely on our seniors to be our captains, our leaders, and he really stepped up in a big way. Obviously, we have more captains on our team, but he’s pretty much the lead voice of everyone.

“I feel like with him that’s a big deal. It just shows his maturity and his readiness for the next level in my opinion.”

Nowell worked with Ajavon on his footwork over the summer.

“We all know he can hit,” the coach said. “We all know he’s an alley-filler. I feel like at the next level, especially at Notre Dame, he’s going to be asked to do a lot more, especially in the cover game. That’s what we work on a lot. He’s learned a lot. He was in on a lot of pass-breakups. I can tell he’s really taken to the training and the coaching.”

And Ajavon’s leadership role took a major step up during the offseason.

“He was forced to grow up fast as a kid,” Nowell said. “We got a new coach this past season. Litchfield was the first one to call a team meeting. He took it on right away. Our new coach, he actually relied on him to be the voice of the team, the voice of the captains. He just takes over in a positive way. We couldn’t ask for any more from him.”

And it certainly rolled right into the season.

“He’s our playcaller on defense,” said Nowell. “He’s the first one to the ball. He sets the tone early. We’re always looking for a tone-setter. I’m always looking for a tone-setter in the game, whether it be on kickoff or the first play of the game. He’s always the one setting that tone. I challenged him in Week 3 or Week 4. I said, ‘Hey, man. You seem a little quiet this season.’ He looked at me and said, ‘I got you.’ Then, he just goes and annihilates a kid, in a good way obviously. Challenge the kid and he steps up to the challenge all of the time.”

With his senior season is complete, Ajavon and Nowell will continue working to prepare Ajavon for the rigors of the college game.

“Absolutely,” said Nowell. “You can never have too much footwork or too much footspeed. We’re definitely going to get after it. Now it’s big-time. There are no days off and he knows that.

“Those are the things we’ll be working on and just the mental part of the game too. In high school, he can run and hit people and everything is good. But when you get to college, it’s more mental. All receivers are better, all receivers are four-star, five-star now. He’ll have more of a challenge, so now he needs to know the mental part of the game. We’ll sit down and watch a lot of different film and videos and definitely get the mental part down as well.”

 
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