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October 25, 2011
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BERKELEY -- At this point last week, senior California linebacker Mychal Kendricks was still barely practicing. The same went for Chris McCain and David Wilkerson. This week, it seems that it's tailback Isi Sofele's turn in the red jersey, as he did not participate in Tuesday's session at Witter Rugby Field, as the Bears prepare for a weekend date with UCLA in Pasadena.
"He's held up well," said head coach Jeff Tedford. "He's beat up after a game, as most tailbacks are when you do that, but he's a tough guy."
While Sofele's future is a bit cloudy, junior cornerback Marc Anthony's is looking a bit brighter. The Chandler, Ariz., native has a clean bill of health after separating his shoulder several weeks back against Oregon, and should reclaim his starting gig from true freshman Stefan McClure. Tedford said that he feels Anthony was playing well before the injury occurred.
"He'll play. He'll start. Typically, our policy is, if a guy gets hurt, he doesn't lose his job, so he'll start," Tedford said. "Stef will get some playing time, yeah. He was starting to be in the rotation anyhow, so it just worked out that he had to play a lot because of Marc. It's been good for him, and now we feel good about getting him in the rotation."
McClure had come on very strong of late, shutting down USC all-world wide out Robert Woods and helping to nearly shut out the Utah offense last week.
"I don't know about that, completely. He played well, but there's a lot of things that he can improve on, as well," Tedford said. "But, he's earned playing time there, no doubt about it. But, Marc also was playing well, and like I said, just because a guy gets injured doesn't mean that he loses his spot. The competition is always good, and he's healthy, so it's nice to see Stef come on."
Anthony would do well to replicate the path of Wilkerson, who, after recovering from a nagging ankle injury that's slowed him all season, had a career night against the Utes last weekend, with five tackles, three for a loss and 1.5 sacks.
"He played well last week. He did a really nice job, and it was nice to see him," Tedford said of Wilkerson. "Each week, he seems to be getting better and so it's nice to see him as a young linebacker step up and play, and we've got a couple young linebackers there in Wilkerson, [Cecil] Whiteside and McCain, all getting quite a bit of playing time."
As for whether or not there would now be a three-man rotation at corner, with Anthony, McClure and Steve Williams, Tedford was non-committal.
"I don't know what the plan's going to be," Tedford said. "We've got to talk to Clancy [Pendergast] about the rotation of how many numbers or whatever, but Stef will definitely play. I don't know how much."