ATLANTA (WRCB) -- Former Howard High and Tennessee State linebacker Rico Council was among 22 players signed to rookie free agent deals by the Atlanta Falcons on Monday.

The 6-foot-1, 255-pound Council was named Ohio Valley Conference Defensive Player of the Year and an FCS All-American in 2011 after leading the Tigers with 87 tackles (49 solo), including 8.5 for a loss. He finished his senior season with 3.5 sacks, one interception, one forced fumble and two fumble recoveries.

Council's 295 career tackles rank second in TSU history behind only his head coach, Rod Reed.

In addition to Council, the Falcons reached a deal with TE Lamark Brown (Minnesota-Mankato), LB Rico Council (Tennessee State), QB Dominique Davis (East Carolina), S Chad Faulcon (Montclair), RB Robbie Frey (Kutztown), LB Max Gruder (Pittsburgh), T Byrce Harris (Fresno State), LB Jerrell Harris (Alabama), LS Josh Harris (Auburn), C Tyler Horn (Miami), WR Marcus Jackson (Lamar), DT Ray Kibble (Kansas State), G Phillip Manley (Toledo), CB Marty Markett (South Carolina), TE Adam Nissley (Central Florida), DE Louis Nzegwu (Wisconsin), WR Cody Pearcy (Huntingdon), DT Micanor Regis (Miami), WR James Rodgers (Oregon State), LB Pat Schiller (Northern Illinois), CB Peyton Thompson (San Jose St.) and P Dawson Zimmerman (Clemson).