Ohio WR Prospect Danny Fortener Eyes BYU

Cougar football coaches might want to pencil in a recruiting call to a little-known 6-2, 180-pound Ohio high school wide receiver prospect who called BYU this summer, but couldn't reach the coaching staff. Significantly, he turned the heads of the Ohio State staff after he recorded a blistering 4.25/40 at the Buckeyes' summer football camp some weeks ago.

Danny Fortener told TotalBlueSports.com he was turned on to BYU by Matthew King, president of Excel Consultants, Ltd. (ESC), a group of coaches that help athletes and colleges with recruiting. King was Fortener's head coach last season at Archbishop Alter High School (Ohio), but has now joined the coaching staff at Ohio Dominican University.

"I tried to call the (BYU) coaches," Fortener said, "but all the coaches were on vacation and everything. They (BYU) haven't sent me any letters yet, but I did get one from Wisconsin the other day."

With the wide-open passing offense head coach Gary Crowton uses at BYU, King said Fortener would be a great fit for the Cougars.

"Danny is a genuinely good kid that has his priorities straight. After the Ohio State camp, everybody wants to talk to him. He just wants to play football at a college with tradition and good academics. BYU would be a perfect fit for Danny," King said.

"BYU's offense will allow him to get the ball and use his athletic ability. BYU's coaching staff could teach Danny form and technique that he has missed out on by playing primarily basketball, and the school's ethic code and academics would fit Danny's personality and personal goals.

King went one step further: "I'll will tell you this, if they offer him soon, they have the best shot at getting him over Maryland, Wisconsin, Hawaii, Georgia Tech, Kansas and so on. If BYU offered Danny, there would have a good chance he would commit."

Sight unseen, Fortener, who is not LDS, already likes what he has seen. "I looked at BYU's website and I saw their stadium and everything and it looks really nice. BYU looks like a nice college, nice campus and everything."

King said he has been talking to BYU coaches about Fortener. "We are currently talking to BYU, as well as several others, about Danny."

Fortener's thoughts if BYU offered a scholarship? "I would just love to play football at BYU. I'd love to just come play football there and succeed in their offense and system. I've seen their facilities and they look just awesome."

Other schools that have expressed recruiting interest include Hawaii, Arkansas, Kansas, Wisconsin, Northwestern, Maryland, Virginia, Georgia Tech, Ohio State, New Mexico, Utah, Boise State, San Diego State, Ball State, Bowling Green, Marshall, Central Florida, Cincinnati, Illinois State, Western Kentucky, Louisiana Tech and Troy State,.

The potential challenge for Cougar and other college coaches is Fortener has not yet firmly established himself as a major Div. 1 recruit at any single position. Moreover, it appears he will play quarterback for his high school this season because of his superior athleticism. It will not help him get early scholarship offers from major colleges if he's not even playing the position he will be recruited for.

"Due to Danny's athletic ability," King said, "he may be moved to the quarterback position this year at Alter. It would give the coaches an opportunity to put the ball in Danny's hands on every play. For this reason, Danny wants to commit before the season starts so he can focus on helping his team win – even if he is not playing the position he prefers."

The proverbial "diamond in the rough," Fortener's main sport was basketball until his sophomore year when he discovered football – and there's no looking back now. "I played basketball my whole life and football came around my sophomore year and ever since then I can't get enough of it."

Coach King added, "Danny used to be an excellent basketball player, but decided that football was his love. Danny punted for us last year, and averaged 37.5 yards a punt without any coaching."

Being a wide receiver on a team that mostly operates the run-oriented wishbone offense, Fortener finally got his big break when he impressed with six catches for 169 yards and one touchdown in a second-round playoff game last year.

"He didn't catch many balls throughout the regular season due to the coaches not knowing his speed, depth at wide receiver and the offense being primarily a wishbone offense," coach King said.

With his impressive 4.25/40 camp performance at the Ohio State summer camp, Fortener followed up with a 4.29 shuttle and a 30.8-inch vertical.

Fortener said the Ohio State coaches told him they had already offered four or five wide receivers, but that he was on their list. "Ohio State isn't their top choice (for some recruits) so they could fall through and I could come up, maybe?"

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