Matt Forté Named September Amateur Athlete of the Month

NEW ORLEANS (October 26, 2007) – Much like the yards he has piled up over the first seven games of the 2007 season, the awards keep coming in for Tulane University senior running back Matt Forté as he was named the Allstate Sugar Bowl Amateur Athlete of the Month for September, as voted on by the Greater New Orleans Sports Selection Committee.

Greater New Orleans Amateur Athletes of the Month

Over the first four games of the season, Forté ran for 508 yards and six touchdowns on 87 carries and hauled in 12 passes for 101 yards. His 620 all-purpose yards was 409 yards more than anyone else on the team at the conclusion of the month, and Forté has not shown any signs of slowing down as he already has 753 all-purpose in three games during the month of October.

The honor, while the first monthly-award of the year, is the sixth Forté claimed over the last six days. He was named Walter Camp Football Foundation National Offensive Player of the Week and an AT&T All-America National Player of the Week nominee on Sunday, and earned Conference USA and CollegeSportsReport.com Division I-FBS National Performer of the Week honors on Monday. FoxSports.com also got into the mixing, naming Forté the Non-BCS Player of the Week on Wednesday.

In addition to the honors, Forté was also named to the Maxwell Award Watchlist for the College Player of the Year Award and ranked sixth in a Heisman Trophy poll conducted by CSTV.com during the week.

Forté, who entered the season with lingering questions surrounding a knee injury that ended his 2006 campaign in the ninth game, started the year with 96 all-purpose yards against Mississippi State (47 rushing, 49 receiving) and 107 against C-USA foe Houston (85 rushing, 22 receiving).

He exploded onto the national scene the next week, however, setting a then-Tulane and then-Conference USA record with 303 yards and five touchdowns against Southeastern Louisiana. He followed that up by carrying the ball 16 times for 73 yards while hauling in one pass for 21 yards against arch-rival LSU. His 73 yards were the most allowed by the Tigers up to that point, and his total came despite not playing the final quarter of the ballgame.

For the season, Forté leads all NCAA Division I-Bowl Subdivision players in rushing yards (1,261) and rushing yards per game (180.1). He also ranks second in the NCAA in all-purpose yards per game (207.71) and sixth in the nation in points per game (11.14). Forté’s 13 touchdowns on the year are tied for the third most in the country, and his school-record five touchdowns against Southeastern Louisiana on Sept. 22, is tied for the highest scoring output nationally in 2007.

Each of the Sugar Bowl’s monthly award winners will be honored next spring at the Greater New Orleans Sports Hall of Fame Induction and Awards Ceremony, hosted by the Allstate Sugar Bowl and the Greater New Orleans Sports Selection Committee.

Forté and the Green Wave return to action on Saturday, Oct. 27, when they take on C-USA foe Memphis in Homecoming 2007 at 2 p.m. in the Louisiana Superdome. Saturday’s game against Memphis is the first of three straight home games for the Green Wave, who will battle Tulsa on Nov. 3 before taking on UTEP on Nov. 10.

The Greater New Orleans Sports Awards Committee has been selecting an Amateur Athlete of the Month each month since 1957. The athlete must be a native of the greater New Orleans area or must compete for a team in the metropolitan region in order to be eligible.

-www.TulaneGreenWave.com-