Fortt leaving Penn State for California
College Football Videos
One of the losses sustained by Penn State's football program came with a bit of irony.
Linebacker Khairi Fortt wanted to attend California in 2010, but his parents balked at the blue-chip recruit going to school so far from Stamford, Conn.
Fortt matured so much after everything he has been through at Penn State that his parents were comfortable with Cal recruiting him a second time.
Fortt will transfer to the Pac-12 school, joining running back and fellow Connecticut native Silas Redd in leaving a program that the NCAA hit with major sanctions July 23.
Coach Bill O'Brien has been trying to keep his team together since the NCAA ruled that Penn State players could transfer before Aug. 27 and be eligible this season.
Fortt is arguably the Nittany Lions' most significant loss after Redd. He had been expected to battle Glenn Carson for the starting job at middle linebacker.
Fortt played in every game last season and had 33 tackles, including 61⁄2 for losses, and 21⁄2 sacks.
“I think Khairi just wanted a total change,” Fortt's father, Guy, said Wednesday. “He really enjoyed coach O'Brien. I just think Khairi wanted a new vibe and a new opportunity.”
As a retired firefighter, Guy Fortt said he values the concept of not leaving teammates behind. But Fortt added that his son didn't just leave Penn State for any school. Cal linebackers coach Kenwick Thompson served as the point man in Fortt's recruitment, just as he did three years ago, and the two still have a strong rapport.
Fortt, Redd (Southern Cal), quarterback Rob Bolden (LSU), tight end Kevin Haplea (Florida State) and safety Tim Buckley (North Carolina State) are among the players that have left the Nittany Lions' program this week. Penn State also lost an incoming freshman when highly touted defensive lineman Jamil Pollard decided to transfer to Rutgers.
Pollard is from New Jersey, and Rutgers had been his top choice coming out of West Deptford High. He signed with Penn State after Scarlet Knights coach Greg Schiano left to coach the Tampa Bay Buccaneers late in the recruiting period.
Clyde Folsom, who coached Pollard at West Deptford, said the coveted recruit was torn about his college choice even before the NCAA punished Penn State.
“It gave him a real reason to leave,” Folsom said of the fallout from the Jerry Sandusky sex-abuse scandal. “(Rutgers) was the only school he would have left for.”
Penn State opens training camp Monday, and O'Brien has made it clear to his players that Monday is also an unofficial deadline for them.
“After Aug. 6,we don't want guys that are on the fence,” strength coach Craig Fitzgerald said. “If you're in, you're in. If you're out, you're out.”
Scott Brown is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Pirates, Worley edge Brewers, 1-0, move to cusp of playoffs
- Penguins notebook: Carcillo hopes to give team physical edge
- Fans sporting black and gold show up for Steelers game in Charlotte
- East Hills shooting victim found in Wilkinsburg
- Pirates notebook: Bucs set single-season attendance record
- Penn State notebook: Backup QB Crook acquits himself well in debut
- Inside the glass: Penguins’ Martin, Ehrhoff look comfortable together
- NFL notebook: Ex-Titans kicker Bironas dies in car wreck
- Officials say too many in the 18-64 age range skip flu vaccination
- Falling branch injures woman, cuts power in Squirrel Hill
- Gas industry remedies ‘brain drain’ in Western Pennsylvania