As has been reported everywhere, Khairi Fortt will be a California Golden Bear. He'll arrive at Cal on Sunday and join up with the team for the first full week of fall camp.
"They took me around and I connected with those guys very well," Fortt said. --They seem like great people. The environment there is fantastic and I got a good vibe from going out there."
Once the sanctions on Penn State came down last week, Fortt made it clear that he'd be looking around, and Cal immediately popped up on the radar. Fortt was recruited by Cal back in 2009 and actually camped in Berkeley, and as mentioned in the article did have Cal in his final two before deciding to stick closer to his home of Stamford at Penn State. The opportunity to revisit Cal though once the sanctions came up was a very interesting prospect, and he visited Berkeley this weekend and apparently liked what he saw.
Since he was a freshman in high school, the Penn State linebacker had dealt with a subluxation of his right kneecap, a chronic issue that caused the knee to keep popping out.
"It had to happen eventually," Fortt said recently at a Special Olympics event in State College. "It was gonna happen some time. It’s just a matter of when."
Just a few practices into the spring, the knee popped out pretty bad, and doctors took action. They put Fortt on pain-free medication and attached his Achilles tendon to the inside of his kneecap during surgery in late April.
Cal has plenty of linebacking depth (although probably no starting position is secure), so it isn't necessary to trot out Fortt until he's 100% ready to go. Still, I'd venture to guess Fortt will try and see how much of a go he can give it in fall camp before he considers shutting down for the season.
Fortt is a true junior, so the option for a redshirt season is definitely there without curbing his eligibility to play two years.
Fortt was a part of the Penn State recruiting class of 2010 and was considered one of the top linebacking prospects in the country when he committed. He played a few games his freshman season before becoming a member of the regular rotation last year. Fortt was 12th on the team in tackles (33), 7th in sacks (2.5) and 6th in tackles for loss (six) and figured to be in position to start this season. His athleticism and excellent run support abilities will come in handy whenever he gets the chance to see the field.