After completing one of the most illustrious careers in NCAA Division II football history, former Northwest Missouri State running back LaRon Council had his sights set on the NFL.
His dream briefly came true as he spent time this past season in training camp with the Minnesota Vikings.
That taste of the league fueled Council’s fire even more, and now he is hoping a solid season with the La Crosse Spartans will help that aspiration become an actuality.
“The NFL is definitely where I want to be,” Council said. “That’s where my dreams are and that’s where they always have been.”
Council and the Spartans (3-3) play tonight at the Sioux Falls Storm (5-0), one of two teams in the 22-team IFL that is undefeated.
Despite having to adjust from the outdoor game to the indoor game, Council hasn’t shown many signs of slowing down.
He is third in the IFL in rushing with 239 yards and five touchdowns.
“It’s coming along, but I can’t say it has been a very fast transition,” Council said. “I’m beginning to pick things up, but it’s definitely different.
“I think right now the biggest thing for me is that in the indoor game you have to be less patient because of the speed of the game. Your reads just have to be quicker, and that’s something I’m starting to understand.”
At Northwest Missouri, Council’s career was anything but average.
He ran for 4,044 yards with 59 touchdowns in his career, including 172 yards and two touchdowns in the 2009 Division II national championship game, a game the Bearcats won 30-23 over Grand Valley State.
He was twice named an All-American by four different publications and was the 2009 runner-up for the Harlon Hill Trophy, which goes to the best player in Division II.
“He really caught our eye for what he accomplished down in Missouri,” Spartans general manager Chris Kokalis said. “He has all the talent in the world, and he has been a blessing to have around.”
So does he have enough talent to make it in the NFL?
“Without a doubt he has everything needed to be successful,” Spartans coach Kyle Moore-Brown said. “He has been an absolute pleasure to coach; he puts his hard hat on and comes to work everyday.
“He’s the type of player you hope gets a chance to showcase what he can do on Sundays.”
WHAT: La Crosse Spartans (3-3) vs. Sioux Falls Storm (5-0)
WHEN: 7:05 p.m. today, Sioux Falls, S.D.
LAST WEEK: The Spartans lost to the Chicago Slaughter 54-40, while the Storm defeated the Omaha Beef 48-38.