Three Tualatin football players sign on to play collegiately

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Tualatin senior Jayden Fortier (8) will continue his football career in college at Arizona State University. Adam Littman/Tualatin Life
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When college football’s Early Signing Period began on Dec. 20, three star seniors from Tualatin signed letters of intent to play collegiately in the fall. 

Tualatin senior AJ Noland signed a letter of intent to play collegiately at Colorado State University. Adam Littman/Tualatin Life

Tight end Jayden Fortier signed with Arizona State University, safety AJ Noland signed with Colorado State University, and wide receiver Kenen Elder signed with Portland State University. 

Fortier was seen by many as the top high school prospect in the state this year, and was named Prep Football Player of the Year recently at the Oregon Sports Awards. The senior was dominant on both sides of the ball this season for Tualatin, racking up a combined 1,300-plus yards from scrimmage to go with the 24 total touchdowns. He was also named co-defensive player of the year for the Three Rivers League, and was a unanimous first-team selection at both wide receiver and linebacker. 

In Tualatin’s loss in the state title game, Fortier did hurt his left knee. He announced on social media that he recently underwent successful ACL surgery on that knee. Once he’s ready to go at Arizona State, Fortier could be catching passes from a familiar face: former West Linn quarterback Sam Leavitt recently transferred to Arizona State after his freshman season at Michigan State University. 

Senior wide receiver Kenan Elder opted to stay close to home to play in college by signing with Portland State University. Adam Littman/Tualatin Life

This past season, Fortier brought in a lot of passes thrown by Noland. After an injury to junior quarterback Nolan Keeney, Noland filled in at quarterback for a majority of the regular season, moving over from receiver. He named an honorable mention at quarterback for the all-league team. 

Noland was recruited to Colorado State on defense, and he was named first team all-league at safety this past year. It was his second year in a row as a first team all-league selection at safety. 

Rounding out the trio of college signees for Tualatin is Elder, who also shined on both sides of the ball his senior season. He was named to the all-league first team as a defensive back and the Three Rivers League second team at receiver.

While those three were the only Timberwolves to sign during the early period, it doesn’t mean they’ll be the only Tualatin players continuing their football careers at the next level. The regular college football signing period starts on Feb. 7, so other players will have a chance then to sign on to play in college.

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