Penn State LB Khairi Fortt Defects to California Golden Bears

By Chris Lionetti

A week after Penn State received its punishment from the NCAA and a day after running back Silas Redd transferred to USC, another Nittany Lion has left the program.

Junior linebacker Khairi Fortt, a highly recruited player out of high school, has decided to defect from Penn State to join the California Golden Bears. Fortt, who compiled 33 tackles and 2.5 sacks last season, visited the Cal campus last weekend and felt at home.  Khairi had been in contact with as many as 30 other schools but only visited Cal. His decision was always between Cal and Penn State according to his father.

In an interview with his hometown paper, the Stamford Advocate, Fortt said, “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.”

Redd, who grew up in Stamford along with Fortt, helped recruit the linebacker to Penn State as a high school senior and the two were believed to be a package deal during their recruitment.  His defection to the Trojans could have played a role in Khairi Fortt transferring to Cal.

Also, playing in a role in his transfer to Cal is the fact that the linebacker had a good relationship with the coaches during his high school recruitment. After a visit to the campus in 2009, Khairi Fortt told, “That was a real nice experience. They are getting new facilities which should be really nice and I liked all the coaches.”

Fortt will be eligible to play for the Golden Bears immediately and will look to climb his way to the top of a crowded depth chart.

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