Former University of Northern Iowa linebacker L.J. Fort signed a free agent contract with the Cleveland Browns of the National Football League on Monday. Rather than accepting an invitation to rookie camp with the New Orleans Saints, Fort received and signed an undrafted free agent offer from the Browns.
Fort finished 2011 as the Division I FCS national leader in total tackles (184) and tackles per game (14.15), setting the UNI single-season record. He was named the FCS National Defensive Player of the Year by both College Sporting News and College Sports Madness, as well as the runner-up for the Buck Buchanan Award as The Sports Network's FCS national defensive player of the year.
Fort claimed the Missouri Valley Football Conference's top honor as the league's Defensive Player of the Year in 2011. He earned first-team All-America recognition from five different organizations following the season.
Along with his 184 tackles last season, Fort also racked up 10.0 tackles-for-loss and six forced fumbles. He ranks fifth in program history with 356 career stops.