Irish, Gamecocks and Pack Battle for Councell

Asheville (NC) AC Reynolds linebacker Ben Councell's recruitment has exploded over the last two months. We have the latest.

When Pack Pride first talked to Asheville (NC) AC Reynold's standout Ben Councell back in April, NC State was the clear leader for the talented linebacker prospect. Since then, Councell has picked up a half dozen new offers and one of those in particular has shuffled the rising senior's favorite's list.

At 6-5, 220 pounds Councell  tallied 140 tackles, four interceptions, and two fumble recoveries to help lead his team to a state title. He projects at either linebacker or defensive end on the collegiate level. Although he was on the list for the recent Shrine Bowl invite-only workout held in Monroe, NC, Councell didn't work out because of a hip injury. He did talk to Pack Pride, however, and gave us the latest on his scholarship offers and where he's visited since we talked to him last.

"Maryland was the first school to offer," said Councell. "Then was Duke, East Carolina, South Carolina, NC State, Wake Forest, Notre Dame and Auburn. I'm probably forgetting someone but I know there's ten in all. Clemson, UNC, Notre Dame, Wake Forest and a couple other ones came through the school back in May.

"I went to South Carolina about two weekends ago and checked them out. I went to Auburn for their spring game and I'm planning to go up to Notre Dame in the next couple of weeks."

Councell admitted that the recent offer from Notre Dame was huge.

"It was awesome. At first the coach was telling me they were flying down to see me but I didn't think they would offer. But they came down and kept in touch with my parents so they're excited about that."

So what about NC State? The Pack was his leader just a couple of months ago so are they still in the race?

"I cut my list down to about five schools but State is still in there. My dad's excited about that. He went down with me when they offered and we visited their facilities and everything. I got to meet coach Tenuta and the defensive coordinator and we talked for about an hour. He came up I think twice at the school.

"I mean, there still up there and I'm probably going to make another visit. Next weekend we're going to make a trip and see State, Wake Forest- all the in-state schools."

So who made Councell's top five and was the Irish's offer enough to propel them out front?

"My top five would be Notre Dame, South Carolina, NC State, Vanderbilt and maybe Wake Forest, my parents are leaning towards academics, but I want a good football team.

"Yeah, definitely. Notre Dame is out front right now. Behind them is South Carolina and then NC State."

Councell is rated a three-star prospect and the No. 26 outside linebacker in the nation by

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