Danny Fortener is hoping his blazing speed and solid athletic ability will turn heads in the Wisconsin coaches' offices. Fortener hand delivered a film when he took an unofficial visit for the Badgers' Sept. 11 game against UNLV.
"When I went up there they treated me very well," Fortener said. "Just the atmosphere, everything around it, just the game itself was amazing and I just loved the atmosphere.
"I would just love to go there. I'd love to be a Badger."
Fortener began to draw recruiting attention over the summer with strong camp performances at Bowling Green and Ohio State. He reportedly ran a 4.5 40-yard dash at the Bowling Green camp and a startling 4.25 in Columbus. He also boasted a 30-inch vertical jump, a 9-2 broad jump and nine bench press reps at 185 pounds at the Buckeyes' camp.
The 6-foot-2, 180-pound wide receiver prospect said that MAC schools such as Bowling Green, Ball State and Marshall have been contacting him, in addition to Wisconsin and an assortment of Division I-AA programs. He said he has scholarship offers but he declined to name those schools.
As far as recruiting goes, Fortener is focused on his overwhelming favorite, Wisconsin, which has not offered.
"Wisconsin, they have been sending me letters and calling me all the time and I'm like very, very interested in them," Fortener said. "If other schools come along, that's great, but Wisconsin's really my main focus right now because they've been giving me the most love and everything."
Fortener first played organized football as a sophomore at Archbishop Alter High School in Kettering, Ohio, a suburb of Dayton. He had played basketball throughout his youth but had not even dabbled in football.
"A couple of seniors my sophomore year talked me into it because they saw my athletic ability and they figured well, ‘you'd probably be good at football,'" Fortener said. "So I went out for it and, you know, everything went well from there."
He captained the JV team as a sophomore and played wide receiver with the varsity as a junior, catching 12 passes for 249 yards and two touchdowns. He also punted, averaging 37 yards per attempt. This year he has been moved to quarterback and is in his third year not only playing football but as a captain on either varsity or JV.
"Whatever coach wants me to do that's what I'm willing to do," Fortener said. He takes the same attitude toward his future college position. He hopes to play receiver but is not wedded to that spot. "If Wisconsin or somebody wants me to play a different position," he said, "I'm willing to do whatever it takes to be on the team."
Since he is playing quarterback this year, Wisconsin asked Fortener to provide an additional tape of him catching passes.
"So I went out one day and one of my coaches filmed me and had a quarterback throwing balls to me and doing different drills and everything," Fortener said. "Hopefully when they see that they'll be impressed."
Fortener said he is focused foremost on his prep football season.
"Whatever happens with recruiting happens," he said. "It would be nice if [the decision] was sooner so then I could just focus on my team even more. I'm not too worried about it right now. I'd love for Wisconsin to offer because….If they did offer it wouldn't go to waste."
Are there any other schools Fortener would consider a favorite?
"Wisconsin is definitely my focus right now," he said. "After I went up there for that visit I was really impressed."
The Sept. 11 trip, which required an eight-hour drive through the night after he played a football game, was Fortener's first visit to the Wisconsin campus.
"The fans there were definitely something I've never seen before," he said. "Their fan support was crazy. Every one there loved Wisconsin. Every one around the area was obsessed with it. It seemed like it was their party for the weekend.
"That was a great experience for me. I told my dad. He went with me and one of my coaches. They loved it too. I just thought it was incredible."
Fortener focused on Wisconsin
Badger Nation Top Stories
Dietzen Ready For Senior Curtain CallHoping to end his high school career with a fourth straight state championship, Kimberly (Wis.) High defensive end Boyd Dietzen has been focused solely on the Papermakers since…
Badger Nation7:21 AM
Most Indispensable Badger - No.1Counting down the 20 most indispensable Badgers on Wisconsin's 2017 roster, sophomore quarterback Alex Hornibrook checks in at No.1.
Badger NationYesterday at 2:39 PM
Fall Camp Preview: Special TeamsThe 12th of BadgerNation's 12-part preview series, getting members ready for the start of Wisconsin football's fall camp on July 28, we look at the special teams.
Badger NationYesterday at 9:52 AM
Gaglianone 'Back' and ReadyAfter a back injury cut his 2016 season to only three games, junior kicker Rafael Gaglianone is close to feeling 100 percent physically and mentally repaired.
Badger NationYesterday at 9:28 AM