Forte Returns From Raleigh

Gulfport (FL) Boca Ciega defensive end Julius Forte was in Raleigh this weekend taking an official visit to NC State. What did he think of his trip?

"It was a fun visit," Julius Forte told Pack Pride. "I watched their game against South Florida, hung out with a lot of the players, and hung out with the coaches.

"I liked the coaches a lot. Coach Swepson is my recruiting coach and he's a good guy. He's very well-spoken and did a good job letting me know they want me. I liked coach O'Brien a lot too. He is a Marine so he says what he means and means what he says."

Wolfpack wide receiver Donald Bowens hosted Forte while he was on his official visit. Sidelined with a back injury, the junior watched the game against South Florida with Forte in the stands.

"He's a cool guy," Forte said of Bowens. "He's from my hometown so we have a lot in common. Because he was hurt he didn't play in the game so he watched it with me.

"It was a tough game for the team, but a lot of teams go through that. I see it as a wake-up call for the school... I feel like they are going to do the best they can to bounce back and shape everything up."

Before leaving Raleigh, NC State's coaching staff attempted to let Forte know how big of a priority he is for them while stressing that they are continuing to build the Wolfpack program.

"They told me I'm a big priority," said Forte. "They offered me my sophomore year... they were my first offer. I was ecstatic when it happened... you'll always remember your first offer.

"They were telling me that it is basically the same coaching staff that was at Boston College. They were showing me what they did at Boston College and told me that's what can happen at NC State."

Recruits are allotted five official visits and Forte's trip to NC State was his second as he had already visited Purdue.

"They were both good visits," he said. "NC State was a school in a town where a lot of other schools are around. They are about 20 minutes away from UNC, an hour from Wake Forest... there are a bunch of little schools around too. Purdue was a big college in a small town.

"Between those trips, I really couldn't tell which was better because both teams have a lot of fan support. You would think NC State might not be like that because the local support would be divided, but man it was a packed house for the game. All of the fans came out and supported them... Raleigh, in general, showed a lot of support and it was a great atmosphere."

Because he still has three trips remaining, Forte didn't visit NC State looking to commit.

"The coaches understand that I am going to take all my visits before making a decision," he said. "They are cool with that."

With offers on the table from NC State, Purdue, Ole Miss, North Carolina, Troy, South Florida, Tulane, Cincinnati, FIU, Kentucky, Iowa, Iowa State, UAB, and Louisville, Forte has options. As it stands now, two programs have been promised trips with his final slot still open.

"I have two visits lined up right now," said Forte. "I've got Louisville and Ole Miss. I go to Louisville the 18th of October, and I'm going to Ole Miss on the 25th.

"The last visit is up for grabs. I'm going to leave that one open because I'm waiting to see if any other schools offer. I just want to make sure I make the right decision for my last visit."

With two visits in the books, Forte isn't close to making a decision. Look for him to take his time and evaluate all of his options before committing to a college program.

"Honestly I don't know when I will decide," he said. "These schools make it hard to even pick a top five. I'm just going to take it slow and try to take it all in.

"I'll commit before Signing Day... I know that. I just don't have a time set up for myself. It's going to be a comfort thing."

Checking in at 6-foot-2 and 240 pounds, Forte is rated a three-star prospect and the No. 51 defensive end in the country by Through three games, Boca Ciega High is 1-2 and Forte has recorded five sacks.

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