02/12/08 — Cougars' Council signs NLI with N.C. Central

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Cougars' Council signs NLI with N.C. Central

By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on February 12, 2008 3:03 PM

In the midst of a recruiting process that took numerous twists and turns all Anthony Council was looking for was a place to call "home."

There were hints of on-again, off-again interest from North Carolina and Oregon, and offers from Morgan State, North Carolina A&T and Fayetteville State. But, ultimately, it was North Carolina Central that provided the Goldsboro senior the environment he sought.

"I chose Central because it felt like more of a family thing," Council said. "I needed to go somewhere where it felt like a second home. They want you to succeed in college and they put academics before football."

After an ACL tear ended his junior season at Southern Wayne, Council transferred to Goldsboro. While following in the footsteps of uncles Jeffery and Gerald Council who also played for the Cougars, Council was asked to share the backfield with Hykeem Coley.

Dubbed "Thunder and Lightning" by first-year head coach Eric Reid, Council and Coley rushed for 1,829 and 1,502 yards, respectively, while helping the Cougars compile an 8-4 record. After an 0-11 campaign in 2006, Goldsboro earned a first-round home playoff game and its first winning season since 2003.

"I would say that pretty much everything we accomplished offensively was due to those two young men," Reid said. "My first concern with having those two was were they going to be able to co-exist in the backfield and they exceeded all my dreams. I tell everybody that I'll never have a combination like that again."

The 6-foot-1 205-pound Council finished his high school career with nearly 5,500 yards rushing and 67 touchdowns and averaged over 180 yards on the ground his senior season.

He had a pair of 300-plus yard games in 2007, including a performance at North Pitt in which he rumbled four 314 yards and four touchdowns on 16 carries.

It's that game breaking ability that has coaches at Central talking about Council potentially playing right away in hopes of improving an Eagles offense that averaged just over 110 yards rushing a game in 2007.

"Nobody worked as hard as Anthony did this year," Reid said. "He has the ability to adapt to different environments and he just has overall talent. For him to be that size and as strong as he is and as fast as he is ...wherever he goes he's going to be known for the ability that he has."