Rod Council impressive on first day of practice

Late signee Rod Council, who originally committed to Virginia Tech, showed tremendous cover skills and athletic ability on the opening day of fall practice.

Cardinal head coach Bobby Petrino landed a gem when corner Rod Council enrolled at the University of Louisville over the weekend.

Council, considered by many recruiting services as one of the nation's top corner back prospects last season at West High School in Charlotte, North Carolina, originally committed to Frank Beamer and the Virginia Tech Hokies. However, Council never signed a letter of intent because of a legal problem and instead wound up at U of L late last week.

And what a bonus Council appears to be for the Cardinals. His athletic ability and speed were evident the first moments he took the practice field Monday afternoon and saw quick action at both corner and punt returner. At 5-foot-11, Council displayed tremendous cover skills, running stride for stride with each receiver he faced, including the fast and elusive Harry Douglas.

Jon Gannon and Rod Council (14)
Former U of L safety Jon Gannon, who had his career prematurely ended because of injury, spent considerable time during the opening practice session tutoring Council on the finer points of defensive coordinator Mike Cassity's attacking system.

"We just think that he's going to be a great player," Gannon said following practice. "I'm giving him a little special attention just to get him in the flow of things with technique and responsibilities because it's a tough system that Coach Cassity runs. So we're just kind of moving him along."

Gannon, who said he was disappointed by the end of his own career but exicted about a possible career in coaching, predicted quick action for the true freshman if he can grasp the mental aspects of the college game.

"He's got great hips and athletic ability," Gannon said. "With him, the only thing that would prevent him from being on the field are the mental things. So as soon as he gets caught up with the mental game, I think he'll definitely be a guy that competes for a starting job because he does have a lot of ability."

Gannon also said Council is an eager student and seemed to quickly pick up what the coaching staff instructed him to do.

"He's a quick learner, he's got a great attitude and he listens very attentively," Gannon explained. "So he'll be OK."

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