Luke Fortner - Football - University of Kentucky Athletics 79


  • position Offensive Guard
  • height 6-6
  • Weight 300
  • class Fifth Year
  • Hometown Sylvania, Ohio
  • High school Sylvania Northview
  • Played in 55 career games with 36 consecutive starts
  • Played right guard and center on the “Big Blue Wall” and was an essential component for the O-Line unit to be recognized for the Joe Moore Award, given to the nation’s top offensive line, four straight seasons, including finalists in 2021
  • Second-Team All-SEC by PFF and Phil Steele (2021)
  • Second-Team CoSIDA Academic All-American (2021)
  • Two-time William V. Campbell Trophy semifinalist (2020 and 2021)
  • Two-time SEC Offensive Lineman of the Week (2021)
  • Allstate AFCA Good Works Team member (2020)
  • Weurffel Trophy semifinalist (2020)
  • SEC Community Service Team (2020)
  • Five-time member of the SEC Academic Honor Roll
  • Two-time First-Team CoSIDA Academic All-District (2020 and 2021)
  • Inducted into UK’s Frank G. Ham Society of Character (2019)
  • Graduated in December of 2019 with a degree in mechanical engineering … Completed his master’s degree requirements in aerospace engineering and will officially graduate in May of 2022  … Began working on a second master’s degree in business administration in June of 2021 and is also on track to graduate with a MBA in the spring of 2022
2021* – Senior (Team Captain)
  • Elected to return for a sixth year, taking advantage of the NCAA’s ruling to grant an extra year of eligibility due to the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Second-Team CoSIDA Academic All-American
  • First-Team CoSIDA Academic All-District
  • Campbell Trophy semifinalist
  • Rimington Trophy Watch List (nation’s top center)
  • Second Team All-SEC (PFF, Phil Steele)
  • Two-time SEC Offensive Lineman of the Week
  • Switched from playing right guard to center during fall camp
  • Notched his second SEC Offensive Lineman of the Week award after the South Carolina win, grading at 84 percent, with 26 blocks at the point of attack, and did not miss an assignment or allow any quarterback pressures
  • Earned his first SEC Offensive Lineman of the Week honor after the ULM win, totaling four knockdown blocks, eight blocks at the point of attack, and he did not allow a sack
  • Preseason third-team All-SEC (Coaches, Media and Athlon)

2020 – Senior

  • Wuerffel Trophy semifinalist
  • Campbell Trophy semifinalist
  • SEC Community Service Team
  • Named to SEC Fall AcademicHonor Roll
  • First-Team CoSIDA Academic All-District
  • Member of the team’s Unity Council
  • One of 11 FBS players named to the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team, UK’s second straight member of the prestigious team (Landon Young in 2019)
  • Started in 10 games played
  • Graded out at 82.9 percent with 26 knockdowns and 146 blocks at the point of attack
  • Preseason Second-Team All-SEC (Pick Six Previews)
  • Preseason Third-Team All-SEC (Athlon Sports)
2019 – Junior
  • Named to SEC Fall Academic Honor Roll
  • Inducted into the Frank G. Ham Society of Character which honors Wildcats who have shown an extraordinary commitment to academic excellence, athletic participation, personal development, career preparation and serving as a role model
  • A mechanical engineer major who, along with Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky and other engineering students, helped design a specially built push cart vehicle to provide a Kentucky Children’s Hospital patient the chance to both accompany the Wildcats on the Cat Walk and attend a game at Kroger Field in a project called “Lift Them Up”
  • Started in all 13 games at right guard
  • Part of the “Big Blue Wall” who helped four Wildcats rush for at least 500 yards, only the second time in school history that has happened, also 1976
  • Helped Lynn Bowden Jr. become the first player in college football history with at least 1,400 rushing yards, 300 passing yards and 300 receiving yards in the same season
  • Totaled 27 knockdown blocks
  • Had no missed assignments, allowed only one sack, and had only one penalty in 646 plays
2018 -Sophomore
  • Played in 11 of 13 games
  • Blocked for All-SEC and All-American running back, Benny Snell Jr., UK’s all-time leading rusher and the first player in school history to rush for 1,000 yards in three straight seasons
  • Named to SEC Academic Honor Roll
2017 – r-Freshman
  • Saw action in eight games
  • Blocked for All-SEC running back, Benny Snell Jr., the first player in school history to rush for 1,000 yards in consecutive seasons
  • Named to SEC Academic Honor Roll
2016 – Freshman
  • Redshirt season
  • Dean’s List (Fall 2016, Spring 2017)
  • SEC First-year Academic Honor Roll (2016-17)
High School
  • A three-star offensive tackle by ESPN, Rivals and 247sports
  • Rated as the 69th best offensive lineman nationally and the 36th best prospect in Ohio by 247sports
  • Also played guard and center
  • Four-year starter for Coach Doug Downing
  • Named team captain as a senior
  • Scout says, “Physical player – does a great job of getting and maintaining leverage once engaged with defender. Majority of the time plays under control and balanced, showing the ability to beat a defender on own. Played tackle and center in high school. We feel he’s got the raw talent to work with but a year in a college system will help
  • him with his footwork and learning more about pass protection. Solid pick up for the Wildcats as Fortner is a player who will benefit from a season or two in the college game”
  • Earned third-team All-Ohio for Division II
  • Named second-team All-Northwest Ohio in 2014 and 2015
  • Dual-sport athlete as he also was a center on the Northview basketball team
  • Honor-roll student and member of the National Honor Society
  • Earned President’s Education Award
  • Chose UK over Akron, Cincinnati, Marshall,Maryland, Toledo and Western Michigan
  • Born in Cleveland, Ohio
  • Son of John and Nancy Fortner
  • Siblings are Matt and Sarah
  • Uncle, Don Svec, played football at Youngstown St.
Community Cats
  • Along with other UK engineering students and a team of Toyota Manufacturing engineers, Fortner worked for months to help design, test and manufacture a specially-built push cart vehicle through a project called “Lift Them Up” … The push cart vehicle provided a Kentucky Children’s Hospital patient the chance to both accompany the Wildcats on the Cat Walk and attend a game at Kroger Field (2019)
  • Volunteered with other engineering students at UK’s 2020 “Engineers Day” to celebrate engineering and showcase the “Lift Them Up” cart
  • Has volunteered at Kentucky Children’s Hospital weekly since September of 2019 as part of the “Tuesdays with the Wildcats” program, created by former Wildcat C.J. Conrad
  • When COVID19 hit in March of 2020, Fortner and teammate Max Duffy set up a program with the KCH called “In the Huddle with KCH” where for eight weeks, they taped a video of themselves from their homes answering questions from kids who submitted through the KCH Facebook Page. The video was posted to Facebook every Tuesday morning to replace what would have been their in-person visit
  • In addition to “In the Huddle with KCH,” Fortner and Duffy took it one step farther by volunteering each week to make Zoom calls with patients at KCH to offer words of encouragement
  • Volunteer at Urban Impact at the Woodhill Community Center, an organization that strives to enable youth to grow, succeed and lead (2020)
  • Volunteer reader at Athens-Chilesburg Elementary (2020)
  • Volunteer for Read Across America at Fayette County public schools (2020)
  • Volunteer for Habitat for Humanity (2016)
Luke Says
  • He chose Kentucky because he loved the atmosphere
  • One word to describe him on the field is “dependable”
  • His sports hero is Joe Thomas because he’s consistent and good at what he does
  • If he had to be stranded on an island with a teammate he would choose Drake Jackson
  • His passion in life is football
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