DUBLIN — West Bladen High bid farewell to its newest Div. I student-athlete on Friday when Brandon Council put his autograph on a letter of intent to join the Akron (Ohio) University Zips.
Council, a 2015 West Bladen grad, was a two-way starter for the Knights and was tabbed to the All-Four County Conference team.
But his biggest and most recent accolade comes from the online athletics ranking service Rivals.com, which currently has Council ranked No. 17 in the country on the list of top prep players.
“Brandon has the size and the work ethic, so we always knew he was a D-I player,” said West Bladen football coach Russell Dove. “I wouldn’t be surprised to see him starting up there, if not this season then next.”
After graduation, Council played for Jireh Preparatory Academy in Indian Trail and helped the team to a 5-5 season.
Council also received interest from East Carolina,, Virginia Tech and UNC-Charlotte before choosing Akron University.
“They flew me up there and I really liked the program and environment,” he said. “And giving me a full ride was also a big deal.”
Akron, which plays out of the Mid-Eastern ATHLETIC Conference, was 8-5 this past season after beating Utah State in the Idaho Potato Bowl, 23-21, in Boise, Idaho, on Dec. 22.
Council, a 6-foot, 4-inch, 290-pound offensive lineman, plans to major in the public health field at Akron.
“I’m really proud of him,” said Angel Jones, Brandon’s mom. “He’s worked hard for this — and since they’ve given him a full ride, I’ll be able to afford plane tickets to see him play.”
Dove said Akron will be a good fit for Council.
“Absolutely. Akron has treated him well and I think he’ll blossom there,” Dove said. “The MEAC has a strong conference, so he’ll see some tough competition. But I think he’ll do just fine.”
W. Curt Vincent can be reached by calling 910-862-4163.