NC DB Draws U-M Attention At V-Tech Nike

GBW's two 'informal correspondents' at the Virginia Tech Nike camp reported to me later that day that the top DB at the camp was not one of the well known kids we'd asked them to watch out for. Instead, they said, the top DB in the QB/WR/DB drills was an unknown North Carolina cornerback named <b>Rod Council</b>. Michigan coaches were in attendance that day and took notice as well.

Our correspondent's scouting report on Rod Council (V-Tech Nike stats: 5-11, 181 lbs. ... 4.45 in the 40 at the Shrine Bowl Combine ... 3.8 GPA/960 SAT) from Charlotte, N.C. West Charlotte at the Nike Camp read as follows: "Fast and physical, he manhandled receivers, and picked off a couple passes." And regarding a 'big name' DB at the camp their scouting report read simply: "Not as good as Rod Council."

I recently got an email from the Council's head coach Pete Gilchrist inviting me to call him. I'd been wondering if Michigan had decided to recruit Council, so I was more than happy to call Coach Gilchrist today and hear what he had to say.

"At the beginning there was not a lot of interest in Rod. But I brought him to the Virginia Tech Nike Camp figuring if college coaches were there and saw him they'd be interested. In fact Rod had a track meet that day, but I took him to the camp instead, because,I felt a scholarship could be at stake for him so this was important. As it turned out, Student Sports didn't rank Rod as one of the top three DB's at the camp. I called them and asked why. They said they place a heavy emphasis on the kids' stats, and Rod slipped in both his 40 heats -- he ran late after the field got slippery from the rain (note: it was drizzling the whole camp)."

"But it didn't matter how Student Sports rated him. Michigan was there and saw him, as was Notre Dame, Virginia Tech, UCLA and Marshall. Only Notre Dame had been in contact beforehand because his grades are so good. As the camp started, I told the coaches to keep eye on him. And by the end of the day every one of the coaches there told me they'd be by the school. The UCLA coach told me they thought Rod was the top kid there. He may not have had a 40 time but he did real well in the one-on-one drills. "

"Michigan's Coach Campbell came in the very next Monday. We talked and Rod met him. I gave him Rod's tape. Then Coach Campbell called, and another coach got on the phone as well. The other coach? It was the DB coach, Coach English."

"The Notre Dame coach came by and stood in the rain and watched Rod work out for 45 minutes."

"And now ROd has offers from Duke, East Carolina, Syracuse, Clemson and Navy. Maryland gave him a verbal over, but not on paper. Michigan said they want him. The Notre Dame head coach called but we missed him. We tried to call him back but missed him. Fortunately when Michigan called I had my cell phone on and we called right back."

"I don't think Rod will stay in state. Michigan, Notre Dame, Ohio State -- I just sent them Rod's tape, Syracuse -- who has offered him based simply on what the UCLA coach told him. I'm also sending tape to Florida State, Georgia, and Auburn. That's about it."

"As far as camps go, I think we'll go to the NC-State camp, and probably North Carolina. We might go to Virginia -- they want him to come to camp so they can offer him there. Wake Forrest wants us to come up there so they can offer him. Rod might get to the Notre Dame camp. A coach on our staff is a Notre Dame graduate ... we're seeing if he can work that camp. Another coach on our staff is from Ohio, and is looking into working that camp. Otherwise, for Rod to pay for a plane ticket will be hard."

"I got this job when Rod was a sophomore. I told every D-1 coach who came through here to write Rod's name down. In my opinion he will be the #1 player in North Carolina by the end of his senior season. "

"Rod is fast but the kids here have to learn to run 40's. He ran a 10.8 100m as a soph, but he hadn't run 40's. So we've been concentrating on 40's. He will be a true 4.4 kid."

"Rod is also a very accountable kid. He will work hard. He runs on his own. He gets 3-4 kids together and they all run the bleachers together."

"Rod is a true cover corner. He's strong enough that he could play safety, but he's a cover corner. He played some wide receiver early in his career, but I said I'm not going to hurt this kid's chance to go to college ... so he's only played cornerback the last two years. But he's strong too -- he's benches 294 lbs., and squats over 400."

"My biggest trouble is -- I don't have much film of him breaking on the ball, because no one throws on him. Even Chris Leak wouldn't throw at him in our game last year."

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