The University of Arkansas picked up a big-time commitment on Sunday when point guard Courtney Fortson pledged to sign with the Razorbacks in November.
Fortson (5-11, 175), who was named Mr. Basketball in Alabama last season and is now at The Patterson (N.C.) School, chose Arkansas over Kentucky, Tennessee, Florida State and Missouri.
"Really when I first came up there (Fayetteville) for the Real Deal on the Hill (AAU Tournament), it really opened my eyes," Fortson said. "They have great fans and a great facility and I am really looking forward to playing for the Razorbacks."
Fortson, who averaged 27.5 points per game last season for Jefferson Davis High in Montgomery, Ala., took an official visit to Arkansas on Sept. 28-30.
Ranked as the second-best post-grad point guard by Scout.com, Fortson got a lot of attention from the coaches and current Razorbacks during that time.
"Everybody showed me a lot of love when I was up there and made it very clear they wanted me to come there," Fortson said. "I knew it was the place I wanted to be."
Fortson has canceled visits to Kentucky and Tennessee that he was planning on taking and his Southeast Elite AAU coach Mark Komara says the Razorbacks are getting a great one.
"I think he is just a perfect fit for Arkansas," Komara said. "The Arkansas fans are just going to love him because he is a hard-nosed tough kid that just gets the job done. He will play so hard for those 20,000 crazies they get in the stands and they are going to just love him to death."
Fellow Southeast Elite coach Norm Williams echoed those sentiments about Fortson, who joins Genesis One guard Terrance Joyner (6-2, 190) as the UA's two commitments so far.
"He is just one tough kid that does whatever it takes to win and is a great scoring point guard," Williams said. "I think he is good enough to come in there and not only be the point guard on the SEC all-freshman team, but also maybe even have enough of an impact to be on one of the three all-league teams."
Komara says that Fortson is undervalued.
"If he had grown up in New York or LA instead of Alabama, he would be regarded as one of the top one or two point guards nationally," Komara said. "Such a great kid, too."
Arkansas is also recruiting 6-2 Varez Ward, Fortson's high school teammate and also now his backcourt mate at The Patterson School.
"I'm hoping that Ward ends up at Arkansas as well," Williams said. "These guys have played together since the fourth grade and they would like to go together."
That pair – who has already played two games this season – had a trio of games this week.
The third one will be a battle with Oak Hill Academy and thus will be a match-up of Fortson and Ward against Oak Hill stars Willie Warren and Brandon Jennings.
"Everybody's all hyped up about that one," Fortson said.
Arkansas is also still pursuing Verdigris (Okla.) High star Rotnei Clarke, who said Sunday that Arkansas, ORU and Oklahoma State are his final trio of teams.
"Arkansas is still in the running," Clarke said.
Arkansas Lands Fortson
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