Top linebacker recruit Khairi Fortt of Stamford, Conn., will verbally commit to Penn State this afternoon at a ceremony at his high school announcing him as a 2010 U.S. Army All-American.
The 6-foot-3, 225-pound prospect had narrowed his final list of colleges to include Georgia, North Carolina, Michigan, Tennessee and USC. It's been a whirlwind year for Fortt who gained acclaim at the U.S. Army National Combine in San Antonio last January and eventually earning rave reviews from his tour of camps and combines this past summer.
Last month, he was named to the U.S. Army Player of the Year watch list as one of the top 30 players in the nation.
"I picked Penn State because I thought it was a great institution and program where I could mature as a man and role model," Fortt said. "All of the other colleges had wonderful aspects but Penn State had the 'IT' factor and full package, which set them apart from any other school for me."
Currently, Fortt is recovering from a knee injury after having suffered an ACL sprain earlier this season and is undergoing rehab. He is hoping to make a return within the next week to Stamford's field and is expecting no long-term effects from his injury.
"As every minute passes through the day, I get more and more eager to get back on the field," Fortt said. "Everything is looking good so far with my knee and I am looking forward to helping our team win on this upcoming Friday night."
After a national recruitment which saw him receive offers from many of the top programs in the nation, Fortt decided to use today's bowl press conference to announce that he will be heading to Happy Valley and "Linebacker University."
"It is an honor to be known as a Penn State linebacker and I will work my hardest to prove to everyone that I fit that character," Fortt said. "I only have three months until I start my college career so I am extremely anxious to get up there with the coaches and really master my position."
Boasting a GPA of 3.0, Fortt plans to enroll in Penn State in January. He was philosophical about his decision to choose the Nittany Lions.
"They say in Happy Valley that if God wasn't a Penn State, why is the sky blue and white?" said Fortt. "Who am I to argue with God?"