GOLDSBORO, N.C.- Though times were hard on the field last season at Goldsboro High (the Cougars went winless in 10 games), there is hope on the horizon in the form of four potential Division I-A prospects for the Class of 2008.
Running back Anthony Council rushed for 1,557 yards and 16 touchdowns during his junior year at Southern Wayne High before transferring to GHS this spring. The 6-foot, 205-pounder has the potential to be one of the top running backs in the state of North Carolina in the current recruiting cycle.
"I have a verbal offer from North Carolina," Council said. "I am just looking for a college where I feel comfortable."
North Carolina State and East Carolina also are in the mix.
Council was named the Class 3A Eastern Carolina Conference Player of the Year. He has more than 4,000 career rushing yards.
Like Council, wide receiver Jamar Branch did not begin his high school career at Goldsboro. The 6-foot-3, 190-pounder transferred to GHS from Bishopville (S.C.) Lee Central in the spring of 2006.
Despite not rolling up a ton of stats as a junior, Branch showed signs of brilliance during the season. In a game against Rocky Mount, Branch had a season-high seven catches for 140 yards and two touchdowns.
Branch will make an unofficial visit to Auburn this weekend. He also is interested in South Carolina, Clemson and N.C. State.
Linebacker Andrew Phifer was a tackling machine during the 2006 season, rolling up 160 total.
"I am a leader on defense and try to make everybody else around me better," he said.
The 6-foot, 205-pounder likes N.C. State and East Carolina in the early going.
In addition to Council, the Cougars will have another potential Division I-A prospect in the backfield in all-purpose back Hykeem Coley. The 5-foot-8, 175-pounder rushed for nearly 300 yards last season.
Coley is leaning toward going out-of-state to play college football.