St. Luke’s’ Fortt will play football at UConn
Published 10:18 am, Wednesday, August 10, 2016
NEW CANAAN — On Halloween of last year St. Luke’s Omar Fortt had a coming out party.
The then-junior helped lead the Storm to a 43-42 win over Rye Country Day School, catching three touchdown passes of 53, 25 and 32 yards as well as the game-winning two-point conversion, capping it all off by intercepting a pass with 13 seconds left to end the game.
The rising senior’s skill set at both wide receiver and safety have him poised for a huge senior season at St. Luke’s, highlighted by his recent commitment to join the UConn football program in 2017.
After landing on UConn’s radar last summer Fortt has been courted by the program over the past year, culminating in a scholarship offer at a summer practice on Saturday.
“I went up Satuday for a visit to watch the practice and that’s when (Head) Coach Diaco called me and the defensive coordinator, Coach (Anthony) Poindexter and my recruiting coordinator, Coach (David) Corley made the final decision to offer me,” Fortt said
On the field in 2015 Fortt was the Storm’s leading receiver, hauling in 30 passes for 589 yards and six touchdowns in a largely run-oriented attack. On the defensive side of the ball Fortt starred as a safety, finishing second on the team in tackles with 65, including a team-high six for-loss and three interceptions.
Playing at the small private school means Fortt, as well as the majority of the Storm, play both ways , opening up his options at the next level where the Huskies plan to use him as a safety.
“When I saw him on the field from day one I could see he loved to compete,” St. Luke’s coach Noel Thomas said. “He’s a great physical player; he’s long and lean, he can jump higher than everyone on the field, he’s got quickness.”
But in Thomas’ mind the physical attributes are just the start of what makes Fortt special as a player.
“He is a young man who has extremely high level of character,” said Thomas, whose son Noel, a St. Luke’s graduate, plays wide receiver for the Huskies. “I trust him, he is a great representative of our school and our football program. When things need to get done he makes it happen, he’s a team guy.”
Fortt comes from a strong pedigree, as evidenced by his siblings. His sister Anisa runs track at the University of Delaware and his brother, Khairi, played at Cal and is currently an NFL free agent after spending time the last two years with the Cincinnati Bengals and Jacksonville Jaguars.
A resident of Stamford, it was important for Fortt to be close to home for his college career, thus making the match with UConn a no-brainer.
“It’s a huge plus,” Fortt said. “It’s always good to give back to the state. I’m staying close to home, close to family so they can come up; I’ve already had so many people say they’re going to watch me so it’s always good to give back to the whole state.”
Fortt joins two other Storm teammates at the FBS level as in the fall Jacob Morgenstern will start his career at Duke and rising-senior Justin Brown has committed to Temple.
Getting his guys to the next level is something Thomas prides himself on regardless if it’s Division I, II or III.
“I take a great deal of pride in working as hard as I can in helping young men in our football family,” Thomas said. “…Once we identified Omar as a Division IA guy we’ve been working together — it’s a partnership with the parents, the college coach and the student and we’ve all been working out butt off to make this a reality.”
With the stress of his college choice off his back Fortt is looking forward to a senior year filled with success from a personal standpoint, but more importantly for the team.
“The team is all in this year,” Fortt said. “Coach Thomas does a good job of getting us all together and having us treat each other like family instead of teammates. My goal is, as it is for every football player, to win a championship game; but I also want to be a good teammate and a role model to others.”