Fortney is a defensive tackle that came out of the major NCAA Division I program at the University of Miami (FL). He has extraordinary speed for a big man, having posted a 4.98-second time in the 40-yard dash at pro camps. He is very athletic and he's a good long snapper.
With the Hurricanes, Fortney had a solid career. He played defensive tackle up until his final year of college ball, when he was moved to defensive end. The Sporting News named Fortney a pre-season First-Team Big East All-Star.
Fortney made 33 consecutive starts as a defensive lineman for the 'Canes, tying him for the school record with NFLers Russell Maryland (1988-1990) and Kenny Holmes (1994-1996). In those games, he played with current NFL greats like runningback Edgerrin James and cornerback Duane Starks.
A run-stop specialist, Fortney was known in college to be a player with an exceptional work ethic at practice. That extended to the weight room as well, as the team named Fortney its Strength Training Athlete of the Year in 1996. The year before that, he won the team's Unsung Hero Award.
Along with the weekly smash-mouth battles in the South East Conference, Fortney played in other elite-level games such as Miami's 31-21 victory over the Virginia Cavaliers in the 1996 Carquest Bowl and the 1998 Hula Bowl for graduating all-stars.
As a redshirt freshman in 1993, Fortney was the Defensive Most Valuable Player in the annual freshman intrasquad game. He was also the long snapper on Miami's field goal and punting teams during his four-year stay in Miami.
WAYNESBORO HIGH SCHOOL: Fortney attended Waynesboro High School in Waynesboro, Pennsylvania. He was a Second-Team All-State All-Star and his conference's Player of the Year. He was also a First-Team All-Area player who was selected to play in Pennsylvania's Big 33 Game for graduating all stars.
He started 43 consecutive games in high school, playing both tight end and linebacker. He was an All-League All-Star at both positions in his senior year. As a tight end, he made 25 receptions for 332 yards and two touchdowns while as a linebacker, he made 132 tackles, two sacks, three interceptions and two fumble recoveries.
In the Mid-Penn League Senior All-Star Game, Fortney made nine receptions for 117 yards and two touchdowns.As a junior, he was a member of the Third-Team All-State squad.Fortney also wrestled competitively in high school, taking the state's No. 2 heavyweight division spot as a senior.
Married to Jamie Lilley Fortney with 3 kids... Born on 12/27/73... Resides in Harrisburgh, PA. Graduated form UM in 1998 with a degree in management.
Dallas Cowboys (1998 Camp)
Dallas Cowboys (1999 Camp)
New Jersey Red Dogs (2000 AFL)
Barcelona Dragons (2000 NFLE Drafted)
Winnipeg Blue Bombers (2001-07 CFL)
New Jersey Gladiators (2002 AFL)
Philadelphia Soul (2005 AFL)
NFL - DALLAS COWBOYS
1998: Following his career at Miami, Fortney had a few shots at the NFL. He attended the Dallas Cowboys training camp in 1998 but they cut him Aug. 30 - the last day of camp. Among the athletes who sought a spot with Fortney was current Edmonton Eskimos' star Singor Mobley.
1999: He attended the Cowboys camp again in 1999, but this time as a left guard and backup center. The Cowboys released Fortney for the second time, Aug. 31 - again on the last day of pre-season.
ARENA LEAGUE - NEW JERSEY RED DOGS
2000: The Barcelona Dragons selected Fortney in the 20th Round of the 2000 NFL-Europe Draft. He chose instead to play in the Arena League with the New Jersey Red Dogs.
2001: The play of Fortney was one of the reasons why the Blue Bombers had as much success as it did during its record-breaking run in 2001.
Fortney quietly and consistently rules the defensive line when he plays, plugging up the middle and halting runningbacks in their tracks, despite constantly facing double teams.Like Hall of Famer Stan Mikawos, Fortney simply controls the line of scrimmage at will, no matter what others throw his way.
Fortney played in all 18 Blue Bomber regular-season games as well as the 2001 East Division Final and the 2001 Grey Cup. He was a mainstay in the Big Blue's front seven - a group that led the league in several defensive categories including fewest yards allowed, fewest rushing yards allowed and lowest average gain per rushing attempt.
Just one example of his dominance came in the battle of the two then-9-2 teams: the Blue Bombers and the Alouettes (Winnipeg @ Montréal, Sept. 23, 2001). Fortney dominated the Montreal O-line that game.
Finishing with four defensive tackles on the day, he put punishing blows on his opponents' throughout the contest.His constant pressure was a key factor in Anthony Calvillo's sub-par performance and his ability to redirect Montréal's offensive linemen was one reason why Mike Pringle had only 65 yards rushing.
Fortney has a knack for jarring the football loose and acquiring it from opposing players. His three fumble returns in 2001 were 4th best in the CFL.
2002: Fortney had his best season to date in 2002, leading Winnipeg in quarterback sacks with seven. He also recorded 22 defensive tackles, four pass knockdowns, one tackle for a loss of one yard and one fumble return.
His outstanding play earned him a spot on the CFL All-Star Team. He was the most underrated player in the CFL until the Football Reporters of Canada named him Winnipeg's Most Outstanding Defensive Player in 2002.
Fortney had a monster game against the Saskatchewan Roughriders in the 36th Labor Day Classic (Winnipeg @ Saskatchewan, Sept. 1, 2002), recording three quarterback sacks on the day.
CJOB named Fortney their Defensive Player of the Game an amazing six times: Winnipeg @ Ottawa, June 11, 2002; Winnipeg @ Montréal, July 27, 2002; Winnipeg vs.British Columbia, Aug. 9, 2002; Winnipeg @ Saskatchewan, Sept. 1, 2002; Winnipeg vs.Montréal, Sept. 20, 2002 and Winnipeg @ Saskatchewan, Oct. 6, 2002.
2003: Mar 26, 2003 (The Sports Network via COMTEX)
Winnipeg, Manitoba (Sports Network) - The Winnipeg Blue Bombers re-signed defensive tackle Denny Fortney on Wednesday. Terms of the deal were not released.
Fortney, who is entering his third season in the CFL, had his best season to date in 2002. The Miami product led Winnipeg in quarterback sacks with seven and recorded 22 tackles, four pass knockdowns, one tackle for a loss and one fumble return.
He was also named to the CFL All-Star Team.
Defensive tackle Denny Fortney is one of the cornerstones of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers highly regarded defense.
A CFL All-Star and major award nominee, Fortney enters his 4th CFL season having played in 54 regular-season games, four playoff contests and one Grey Cup.
Fortney is one Winnipeg's solid veterans that the coaching staff relies on for solid defensive play.
Fortney brings a strong work ethic and unheralded determination to the club.Despite the lack of public attention, opposing players know who the defensive tackle is because Fortney is a one-man wrecking crew.Week in and week out he manhandles helpless guards and centres, who are forced to commit holding penalties on nearly every play.
Fortney causes fits for opposing offensive linemen because of his ability to break free from coverage.The double teams that Fortney regularly sees don't deter him from him from hauling down runningbacks or pressuring quarterbacks.
The team first signed the former Miami Hurricanes star March 7, 2001.He signed an extension in 2002 and 2003.
CJOB twice named Fortney its Defensive Player of the Game: the 37th Labour Day Classic (Winnipeg @ Saskatchewan, Aug. 31, 2003) and a September contest against the Stampeders (Winnipeg @ Calgary, Sept. 14, 2003).
3/14/07 - The Winnipeg Blue Bombers (CFL) re-signed defensive tackle Denny Fortney.
- 1995 UM Unsung Hero Award
- 1996 UM Strength Training Athlete of the Year
- 1998 Hula Bowl
- 2002 Winnipeg's Most Outstanding Defensive Player
- 2002 CFL All-Star