The solidarity and commitment to Penn State the football players came together to announce last week continues to crumble. Now comes news that linebacker Khairi Fortt has bolted the troubled program to California. Also, incoming freshman defensive end Jamil Pollard announced he is bouncing to Rutgers. This comes a day after the Nittany Lions’ best offensive player, running back Silas Redd, elected to transfer to USC.
They are just a few of the Penn State player to leave the Nittany Lions once-proud program in the last two days in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal. Several Penn State players, including linebacker Michael Mauti and defensive lineman Jordan Hillsaid last week they are staying.
“Basically I wanted to take a leap of faith and trust in God,” Fortt told the Stamford Advocate.”This is what’s right for me and my family. . . The way you go through life is the way you handle adversity. The friends I’ve made here are friends.”
Fortt is eligible to transfer immediately without sitting out a season after Penn State was hit with unprecedented sanctions two weeks ago, including a four-year bowl ban, $60 million fine and reduction in scholarships for four years.
Fortt is a junior who will have two years of eligibility remaining. He was expected to compete for the Nittany Lions’ starting middle linebacker spot this fall. His father said his son has had between 30 and 40 schools contact him since the NCAA announced severe sanctions on the program. So much for programs not recruiting Penn State players on principle.
An ESPN 150 recruit and a U.S. Army All-America selection out of high school in Stamford, Conn., Fortt has seen action in 23 games for the Nittany Lions. He racked up 50 tackles, including seven for a loss. Last season, he posted 33 tackles, six for loss and 2.5 sacks.