Fort was a three-year starter as an outside linebacker for Northern Iowa. In 2010, he was named to the Missouri Valley Football Conference second team. The next season, Fort was voted Defensive Player of the Year by the Missouri Valley Football Conference and a finalist for the NCAA FCS National Defensive Player of the Year Award. After graduating from Northern Iowa in 2011, he entered the NFL draft.
In 2009, Fort led the Panthers with 10 sacks and also forced two fumbles. He was also selected to the Missouri Valley Football Conference first team. As a sophomore in 2008, Fort had 7 sacks. Before arriving at Northern Iowa, Fort lettered four years at Rock Hill High School in South Carolina. There he played defensive end and rushed the quarterback.
He started his collegiate career at Division II Winona State before transferring to Northern Iowa as a graduate student. While at Winona State, he played in nine games and made one start. As a freshman in 2007, Fort had seven tackles and one sack.
During his time at Northern Iowa, the football program had great success with all-MVFC players including L.J. Fort, Clay Matthews Jr., and Brian Rolle. The Panthers played in the NCAA Division I-AA playoffs each year from 1996 to 2000 when they went 32-4. They have since moved up to Division I-A and have won or tied for most conference titles in that division (10).
Fort has also played for the Denver Broncos, the Seattle Seahawks, the Cincinnati Bengals, the New England Patriots, the Pittsburgh Steelers, and the Philadelphia Eagles. The next year, he was a first-team all-conference selection.
After graduating from Northern Iowa in 2011, Fort entered the NFL draft. He was selected by the Broncos in the fifth round (156th overall)
In 2012, Fort started seven of eight games before being placed on injured reserve with a knee injury. He finished the season with 17 tackles and one sack.
In 2013, Fort started 13 of 14 games until he was suspended for four games after testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs. He finished the season with 51 tackles and five sacks.
In 2014, Fort started 15 of 16 games before being suspended for four more games after again testing positive for a banned substance. He finished the season with 57 tackles and six sacks.
Fort has also been involved in several on-field incidents during his career. In 2009, he was fined $50,000 by the NFL for hitting Kansas City's Tony Richardson too hard while defending a pass in their playoff game. In 2010, he was fined $30,000 by the league for throwing a punch at Indianapolis's Chuck Pagano.
L.J. Fort/College, University of Northern Iowa, and NFL career.
Fort began his college career at the University of Northern Iowa before transferring to Illinois State University. He played three seasons for the Illinois State Redbirds from 1995 to 1997.
During his time with the Redbirds, he started 35 of 38 games in which he appeared and made 733 tackles, 34 sacks, and four interceptions. After the 1997 season, he was drafted by the Denver Broncos in the first round (sixth overall pick) of the 1998 NFL Draft. He played for the Broncos for three years before being released after the 2000 season. Since 2001, he has been a part-time player for several teams including the New York Jets, Chicago Bears, and Oakland Raiders. In 2007, he was named to the Pro Football Hall of Fame class of 2008.
In 2013, Fort was ranked #78 on The Sports Encyclopedia's list of the 100 Greatest Players who have played in the NFL.
He currently lives in South Sioux City, Nebraska with his wife and family.
The Steelers dismissed Fort on September 12, 2017, and he was re-signed to the practice squad the next day. On September 23, 2017, he was elevated to the active roster. Fort agreed to terms with the Philadelphia Eagles on a three-year, $5.5 million contract on March 14, 2019. He started at left guard in the season opener against the New York Giants and played every offensive snap as the team's backup center.
Fort was born on January 4, 1995 in Gulfport, Mississippi. He attended Pearl River Community College before transferring to LSU. As a senior at PRCC, he started all 13 games at left tackle for the Pirates. The 6-7, 315-pounder led his team in tackles from 2014-15 after starting his career as a defensive end. He finished his college career with 130 tackles (82 solo) and 7 sacks.
He was ranked 62nd by his fellow players on the NFL draft board. To many, he was not even considered a first-round pick. However, the Eagles traded up in the second round to select him ahead of players like Quinnen Williams, Jawaan Taylor, and Devin Bush.
On August 31, 2015, Fort announced his decision to forgo his remaining eligibility and enter the 2015 NFL Draft. He ended up being selected by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the third round (81st overall).
Fort Richardson was a United States Army station in what is now Jacksboro, Texas. It was established in 1866 by Colonel Henry Benham as part of the extensive fortifications surrounding Dallas/Fort Worth after the Indian Wars ended. The site included a stockade and guardhouse for prisoners.
Today's street address for Fort Richardson is 400 W University Ln Jacksboro, TX 75051-3317. Its coordinates are 32° 19' 48" N, 98° 49' 12" W.
Fort Richardson was designated as inactive on March 31, 1893. The site was sold to John H. McConnico that year who used it as a ranch until his death in 1907 when the property passed to his son William S. McConnico. In 1916, the younger Mr. McConnico donated 1,200 acres of the ranch for use as a military training camp by the National Guard of Texas. This camp became known as "Camp Richardson". In 1919, the National Guard relocated their winter training camp to Van Horn, Texas and the campus there was given its current name - Fort Richardson. By the late 1920s, Fort Richardson had been reduced in size to just its headquarters building which was owned at the time by the Department of Commerce.