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August 1, 2012

Bears add Penn State ILB



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As originally reported early Tuesday morning by BearTerritory, now-former Penn State linebacker Khairi Fortt has officially announced he will transfer to California to play out the remainder of his eligibility. The transfer adds a second linebacker to the Bears' defense in 48 hours, after Cal head coach Jeff Tedford announced that Cecil Whiteside would be reinstated on Monday.

[RELATED: LB Whiteside Reinstated]

Fortt was projected to be the primary backup at middle linebacker for the Nittany Lions, after tallying 33 tackles in 13 games last season, with 6.0 tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks.

The junior linebacker and his family had a prior relationship with the Bears from back when the 6-foot-2, 238-pound junior was being recruited out of Stamford (Conn.), and that was one of the reasons why Fortt and his family were the ones who approached Cal once sanctions were handed down by the NCAA, in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky scandal.

[Positional Preview: Going Camping: Linebackers]

Fortt -- if healthy -- should immediately enter into the discussion to start at inside linebacker for the Bears, along with fellow 2010 recruits Cecil Whiteside and Nick Forbes.

Fortt and his father were said to be "fired up" about the defense after a weekend visit, particularly because the Bears are in need of a smart, athletic inside linebacker.

Through a statement by his father Guy Fortt on Wednesday, Khairi said that he loved Cal when he visited when being recruited out of high school in Connecticut, and that he would miss Penn State.

Fortt had one summer school class left to attend in Happy Valley, and should be on campus in Berkeley just after the start of training camp, reporting on Sunday. Fortt was held out of spring camp with a knee injury which required surgery - a subluxation of his right kneecap, which is a chronic issue that kept causing his knee to pop out. The surgery he underwent during the spring was supposed to correct the issue in time for fall camp, but according to Dave Ruden of the Stamford Advocate -- Fortt's hometown newspaper -- there is a possibility that Fortt may have to take a medical redshirt.

Stay tuned for more as the story develops.

Going Camping: Positional Previews:

  • Going Camping: Wide Receivers
  • Going Camping: Tight Ends
  • Going Camping: Offensive Line
  • Going Camping: Running Backs
  • Going Camping: Quarterbacks
  • Going Camping: Defensive Line
  • Going Camping: Linebackers
  • Going Camping: Safeties

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