St. Charles North senior Ben Furtney (left) has committed to Purdue as a preferred walk-on.
St. Charles North senior Ben Furtney (left) has committed to Purdue as a preferred walk-on. — Shaw Media file photo

Ben Furtney's journey has found its next destination.

Furtney, St. Charles North's senior linebacker, was a three-year starter for the North Stars. As a junior he was part of a historic season in St. Charles. He was a Blue-Grey-American this year. Now he's headed for the Big Ten.

Furtney on Wednesday signed with Purdue as a preferred walk-on.

Furtney was one of four North Stars to officially firm up their college plans, joining quarterback Kyler Brown (Minnesota-Duluth), defensive lineman DJ Oshin (St. Ambrose) and offensive lineman Matt Fell (Massachusetts Maritime Academy).

"Personally, it felt nice to find a school that I felt a home [with] and comfortable," Furtney said. "Just kind of celebrating that moment with the guys was great. Us four, from freshman year to senior year [went] through a lot [with] ups and downs. Just knowing that we all found a school that we feel great to have committed to and excited to be a part of, it was a great day."

Furtney also weighed offers from an estimated 10 programs at the Division II and Division I Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) levels. Purdue first came on Furtney's radar in mid-December. He announced his commitment via Twitter on Feb. 1.

"It's a program that you've got to work really hard, and I'm that kind of guy," Furtney said. "Obviously, [when] you need to take this, you got to work really hard. I'm a guy that can do that. I take pride in working really hard...I'm excited to do it. I really feel with the culture I fit well with [it]."

A Class 7A All-State selection, Furtney had 58 total tackles, eight for loss, three passes defensed and one sack for the North Stars this past season. As a junior in 2018 he was a key part of a North Stars' team that reached the Class 7A final, the program's first championship game appearance.

"Hard work. It's a perfect example of the fruits to the labor," Furtney said, reflecting on his North Stars career. "We put in a lot of hard work; me personally, I put in a ton of hard work. [I] had to earn my spot through starting my sophomore year on."

"We made a lot of great memories with teammates and friends that I'll remember forever. It just goes to show what hard work can do."

Brown announced his verbal commitment to Division II Minnesota-Duluth last September. Brown served as North's primary starting quarterback for his junior and senior seasons.

Brown himself came a long ways from learning how to correctly throw a football as a freshman, to earning a collegiate scholarship. Brown threw for 2,787 passing yards in his two seasons.

"Having an opportunity to work with Kyler this summer at camp and getting to see the type of person he is, it became apparent he was the right quarterback for UMD," Minnesota-Duluth coach Curt Wiese said via Brown's athletics bio. "His ability to extend plays in the pocket and create on his own make him a dual threat quarterback in our system. I am excited to see his impact on our program both on and off the field."