Pack Leads For In-State Linebacker

Asheville (NC) A.C. Reynolds linebacker Ben Councell has seen interest in his talents take off over the last few weeks. NC State hosted the rising senior recently, and he talks with Pack Pride about the visit.

The state of North Carolina has proven to be extremely deep with talent for the class of 2011. NC State alone has offered better than 30 in-state prospects with one of the most recent to earn a Wolfpack pledge being Asheville (NC) AC Reynolds standout Ben Councell.

At 6-5, 220 pounds Councell has the frame of a defensive end but has made his living at outside linebacker for Reynolds. Last year he tallied 140 tackles, four interceptions, and two fumble recoveries to help lead his team to a state title.

Pack Pride caught up with the rising senior recently to get the latest on his recruiting and to find out where the Wolfpack stands.

"Duke has offered," said Councell. "So has State, East Carolina and Maryland. Maryland offered me first. Getting that first offer was extremely exciting. After that, Duke came in. I went down to State, talked to them and I really liked it down there. They gave it to me first hand. Then I got ECU."

NC State hosted Councell roughly two weeks ago and that visit went a long way towards establishing the Wolfpack as a major player for his commitment. While the coaching staff made a favorable impression, there's also a family connection that could weigh in the Pack's favor.

"I went down to UNC two weekends ago for junior day and then left early to go over to NC State.

"I really liked State, the entire facility, the coaching staff. I got to talk one on one with the defensive coordinator. I really enjoyed meeting the new linebacker's coach. They gave me a tour of the facilities. Their stadium, we got to play our state championship there and I liked it. I'm probably going to go down in the next couple of weeks to see the school. Plus, my dad went to school there."

So was that visit enough to propel the Wolfpack up Councell's leader board? He talked about three of his favorites.

"State is definitely on the top because I got to visit it first hand and they treated me awesome down there," said Councell. "South Carolina, they call at least once a week. Clemson was the first one to start talking to me. They normally make their offer later, though."

In addition to his offers, Councell continues to land interest from a number of schools, including a couple of prestigious, academic colleges. The junior defender plans to check out a couple of them over the coming weeks.

"This weekend I'm going to Auburn for a three day thing. I'm also going to South Carolina in the next couple of weeks. I've been hearing from a couple of Ivy League schools (Princeton and Brown). Virginia has sent me some stuff. Also, Georgia Tech, Clemson and then a bunch of letters from some other schools."

Councell says he's in no rush to make a decision but would like to get recruiting out of the way prior to his senior season.

"I've got a lot of advice but I'm probably going to wait and make my decision this summer. I just want to see what's on the table before I decide. Education will be a big part of it. Right now, I'm kind of heading towards engineering."

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