January 11, 2009

Big East battle for local DE Forte

St. Petersburg Boca Ciega defensive end Julius Forte did not follow his weekend roommate - Armwood's Ryne Giddins - as a commitment to the Bulls, but he could do so within the next few days. Forte said he has narrowed his choices to USF and Big East rival Louisville, and his decision will come soon.

"Sometime this week," Forte said of his commitment timetable. "I'll take some time to recap the visits and think about all the pros and cons."

Forte admitted that he and Giddins, who are friends, talked about the potential to play together and close to home with the Bulls, but Forte is taking a measured approach before deciding. He said he'll also consider everything he heard from his host - All-America defensive end George Selvie.

"He just stayed honest, told me about the school and the coaches and answered all my questions," Forte said. "Hanging around all the other guys who were there on the visit was the highlight and finding out they've scheduled Miami and Florida State in the future was big."

Forte, known as a deadly speed rusher, had also visited Purdue and N.C. State but has apparently moved them off his list of finalists and will play in the Big East. He is rated the No. 44 weakside defensive end prospect nationally by Rivals.com and is coming off a senior season that saw him record 95 tackles, 13 sacks, six forced fumbles and one interception (returned for a touchdown). As a junior, Forte had 50 tackles, 11 sacks, four caused fumbles, three fumble recoveries and a blocked field goal returned for a touchdown.

"Talking with Coach (Jim) Leavitt was cool. He was real honest and he said he wants me to join the crew," Forte said.

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