With 14 players from the state of Florida on the NC State roster, players from the Sunshine State have been a big part of Wolfpack football over the last several years. Boasting some of the best high school prospects in the nation, the Pack continues to target that state’s top players and has set it’s sights on standout DE Julius Forte from Boga Ciega High School in Gulfport, Fla.
At 6-2, 235 pounds with 4.8-second speed in the 40-yard dash, Forte has attracted early divison one interest after a solid junior season. On the year he tallied 50 tackles, 11 sacks, two forced fumbles and one defensive touchdown en route to being named to the all-Pinellas County first team and all-Suncoast honorable mention.
Forte backed up those efforts by impressing at a Scout combine held recently in Miami, Fla. Scout regional analyst Burke Hayes wrote, “One of the first of the big men to catch my eye was Boca Ciega DE Julius Forte. He displayed incredible feet in the ladders and had no trouble at all negotiating some fairly complex drills. He displayed excellent body control and very light feet—he actually had better feet than many of the skill players in attendance. What also stood out was his ability to lead. Many of the big guys were not in the best of shape (Forte and Olivier Vernon of American aside), but Forte found a way to push through and encourage those around him.”
NC State was the first school to offer Forte with Indiana recently joining the mix. The rising senior admitted he doesn’t know a whole lot about the Pack at this point but landing that initial offer from State was special.
“It was very exciting, getting that first offer from State,” said Forte. “It really was. At first I was excited, telling everyone but then I began to mellow out and do my research on these schools.
“They are a school that I’m looking at,” said Forte. “I’m interested in them. I believe they’re a pretty good program. They have a new coaching staff that did a good job in the past and I like what I see so far. I pretty much get letters from all the coaches but coach Swepson is the main coach recruiting me.”
Forte is also taking a close look at Indiana after the Hoosiers targeted a teammate of Forte’s last year.
“They’re a pretty good school also,” he said. “Last year they were recruiting Orhian Johnson, one of my best friends, and I got to learn a lot about the things that they do and I’m pretty interested in them also.”
In addition to State and Indiana, Forte is also hearing from several other major programs.
“I hear from Ohio State quite a bit. I hear from Florida some. I’m starting to hear from Florida State and Georgia, too.”
With no top schools currently, Forte continues to research the schools on his list and hopes to visit some of those programs over the coming months.
“I plan to attend to a few practices of a couple schools,” he said. “I really haven’t chosen what schools I want to go to yet. I want to visit State but I don’t know if it will be possible.”