‘Come be the first, not the next,’ Muschamp tells recruits
One of O’Donell Fortune’s strengths is his versatility and that will be on display as he enters his senior season for the Sumter Gamecocks.
The South Carolina commit will see action as a cornerback and safety in Sumter’s secondary as well as a receiver on offense and member of the special teams.
“I’m a ballhawk, I go get the ball and make plays,” Fortune said. “You can put me any position on the field, and I can play it.”
Sumter defensive coordinator James Breland doesn’t doubt Fortune’s claim and says his versatility and physical nature are on display daily in practice. At nearly 6-foot-1, 170 pounds, Fortune has the size Gamecock coach Will Muschamp loves in his defensive backs.
And Breland said Fortune has the athletic ability to back that up and remembers his first encounter with him, which came on a basketball court and not the gridiron.
“First time, I saw him, it was during one of his middle school basketball games. I thought this kid has pure athleticism and a good body,” Breland said. “And on the football field, he is a playmaker. I call him a savage for his play on the field. He is a great kid, awesome athletic ability. He is a physical corner and safety, is a smart player and has a quick twitch.
“Every day he shows something that has me in awe.”
As a junior, Fortune had 42 tackles and led Sumter with five interceptions.. South Carolina recruited him for several months and he committed to the Gamecocks in June, a few hours after picking up that offer from attending one of Will Muchamp’s camps.
Fortune and his family grew up big Gamecock fans and was blown away by the size of the crowd and atmosphere walking into Williams-Brice Stadium for the first time. His favorite Gamecock growing up was Jadeveon Clowney.
“I just loved his style of play,” Fortune said of Clowney. “He is vicious and you got to be like that to play.”
Fortune said in the months since his commitment he has been able to connect with other recruits in the class and stuck up a good friendship with receiver Da’Qon “Bobo” Stewart.
When he arrives on campus, Fortune will add to the depth South Carolina is building in the secondary, which includes sophomores Jaycee Horn and Israel Mukuamu as well as freshman Cam Smith and Shilo Sanders.
Fortune, Joey Hunter of Sandy Creek, Georgia and Dominick Hill of Orlando, Florida are three defensive back commits for the Class of 2020.
“Coach Muschamp is doing a great job and I want to be part of that,” Fortune said. “The love I got from all the coaches really drew me in and I’m excited to be part of that.”