Forte on Rise

Phil Forte has risen up the recruiting charts after a successful July. The '12 Texas PG picked up offers from Kansas, Iowa, Villanova and others. He talks about his recruitment in this update.

Phil Forte steps forward to change your mind if you're not buying the impact of the July evaluation periods. The Texas point guard went from warm to hot on the recruiting trail during it.

Coming into last month, the 5-foot-11, 180-pound point guard held scholarship offers from Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas Tech, Boise State, Fresno State, Western Kentucky and San Francisco. In July, he added Kansas, Kansas State, Iowa, USC and Villanova.

"I had no idea this could happen," the Texas Assault floor leader said. "I just went out and played hard every game. I kind of just took it a game at a time. All I really can control is how I play."

Forte patterns his game after Steve Nash and J.J. Barea.

"I can stretch the defense and drive," Forte said. "I'm really like Nash with the floater. Then I'll use my jumper to create space and go by people and get looks for my teammates.

"As long as we're winning, that's all that really matters to me."

At less than 6 feet, Forte has answered questions about his height throughout his career. This summer, he has shown people that prototypes don't always tell the whole story.

"I think that was the big thing with some of the bigger schools coming into July," Forte said. "Some questioned it. Others didn't. It depends on the coach and what they look for in a player.

"I'm used to it by now. I've always been one of the shortest players on the court. I don't think much of it anymore."

Forte's parents are Kansas alums. Some onlookers feel like the Jayhawk offer will be too much for him to turn down.

"I was kind of surprised that they did offer," Forte said. "It's always kind of been my dream school ever since I was little. They've always been my favorite team to watch.

"At the same time, I have to do what's best for me. I realize that they're going to be getting McDonald's all-Americans every single year. They have guys leaving early all the time for the NBA. Is that the best for me? That's something I have to look into."

Forte wants to play early in his college career. He may have a better chance of doing that at someplace other than Kansas.

"I definitely want to play as a freshman," Forte said. "That's something I'm going to take serious in my recruitment. The schools and coaches I talk to, that's a question I ask every time. That's a big part of how I'm going to decide on a school. I'm going to want to play."

Forte has taken unofficial visits to Oklahoma State, San Francisco and Boise State. He believed he would go see Oklahoma and Texas Tech in the next week or so.

"I would really like to focus on school ball and just trying to win another state championship (at Marcus High in Flower Mound, Texas)," Forte said. "I don't want to have the distraction of recruiting throughout the season. After I take all my visits, then I'll sit down and try to decide. I'd like to get it done before my high school season starts (beginning of November)."

Iowa was looking at teammate Nick Banyard when they became interested in Forte, he said. They offered the point guard. He's interested in the Hawkeyes.

"I just got the offer, so I haven't talked to a (Hawkeye coach) or anything," Forte said. "My AAU coach (Rick Roberts) said that they've been interested for a while. We'll see how that goes from here."

Forte said that he's listening to new schools getting involved in his recruitment.

"I'm still pretty open to everyone," he said. "It's just going to be finding the best place for me. I'm trying to find an opportunity to play as a freshman. If I can, then I'll go and look deeper into that school."


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