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Football: Penn State’s Fortt transfers to Cal

UPDATED WITH TEDFORD REMARKS

Penn State junior inside linebacker Khairi Fortt has transferred to Cal.

“Basically I wanted to take a leap of faith and trust in God,” Fortt told the Stamford (Conn.) Advocate, his hometown newspaper. “This is what’s right for me and my family.”

“When the NCAA gave Khairi the opportunity to transfer in this instance, he and his family decided to take a look at our program,” Tedford said. “We are excited to welcome him to the Cal family.”

Fortt, a 6-foot-2, 238-pounder, was expected to compete for the starting middle linebacker job at Penn State this fall. He said the decision became clear after his campus visit last weekend.

“They took me around and I connected with those guys very well,” Fortt said. “They seem like great people. The environment there is fantastic and I got a good vibe from going out there.”

Fortt will be eligible to play immediately at Cal as current Penn State players are being allowed to transfer without sitting out a year in the wake of NCAA santions against the Nittany Lions following the Jerry Sandusky child-abuse scandal.

Cal begins training camp Saturday.

Fortt , an ESPN top-150 recruit out of high school. said he nearly chose Cal over Penn State at that time, but decided to stay closer to home.

Fortt’s father told ESPN.com his son had between 30 and 40 offers to transfer. He played in23 games for the Nittany Lions, totaling 50 tackles.

 His move comes one day after Nittany Lions teammate and childhood friend, running back Silas Redd, announced he had transferred to USC. The former teammates will meet as opponent on Sept. 22 when the Bears visit the Trojans.

And the announcement came just two days after Cal coach Jeff Tedford reinstated sophomore outside linebacker Cecil Whiteside, who had been kicked off the team for violation of unspecified team rules on May 24. So in a week, the Bears have added two linebackers to their defensive mix.

Jeff Faraudo

  • bigdruid

    Welcome aboard, Khairi! Go Bears!

  • covinared

    excellent news!

  • ConcordBear

    The LB’s at California are talented and deep. The additions the past few days just increase the talent and competition. I expect this group to mature as the year goes on and put tremendous pressure on opposing offenses. Great news!
    Go Bears

  • Boaltblue

    The Las Vegas bookies have Cal winnning 8 of 12 games, excluding any bowl game. While that prediction is good, let’s do better than that.

    Go Bears!

  • eric

    @Boalt – wow. I am shocked. That would be huge.

  • Juancho

    Well, I’m a big believer in the star ratings that recruits get. The fact that he’s a 4 star makes me happy. Even though I’ve never seen the guy play, or heard of him until now.

  • http://CapitolGoldBuyers.com BlakeStreetBear

    D-line and LBs should be monstrous this year, despite Kendricks’ departure. Sounds like we added 2 starting LBs to the roster. DBs should be decent if not great. Defense will be very very good, again.

    That side of the ball hasn’t been a problem in recent years though…has it JT? We gotta score some more points dude and stop settling for 29 yd field goals, kneeling at the ends of halves, running such predictable plays, etc. If we can get back to 30 pts/game… We do have returning QB, RBs, and Allen, it shouldn’t be that hard should it?

    Go Bears! Really starting to get excited bout Sept 1, now that August has arrived.

  • Juancho

    Will be funny if Camporele still starts.

  • MikeD

    ironic that people feel shocked to hear that 8 wins are feasible, speaks volumes about the current perception of the program.

    and count me as one of those who would be shocked, but with that said… I’d rather they didn’t – and I know this is at the expense of the kids in the program – but all winning does is extend JT’s contract at this point and that for me is a “prevent at all costs” proposition. 8 wins, 9 wins, meh. we can have years of that and never make a BCS game or the Rose Bowl. Not acceptable.

    A hearty welcome to Cal to Fortt, looking forward to watching you play

  • kyle

    Camporele can’t start now can he?? He plays like a back up

  • rollonubears

    Pittsburgh paper is reporting that Cal was always his first choice, and that his parents wouldn’t let him go here because it was too far away, but now that he’s all grown up, they approve.

  • rollonubears

    PSU camp starts Monday. Their coach has told the team to let him know if they’re in or they’re out, before camp begins. There was apparently a fullback who was also interested in transferring to us. I think we have 10 fullbacks, though, but it’d be nice to add an elite one.

  • Eric

    @MikeD

    I have made my views known that Tedford needs to go. I am fully convinced that we will not make the Rose Bowl (or, since the whole BCS format is changing, winning the Pac-12 title outright) if Tedford sticks around.

    But with this schedule, and these players, 9 wins would be a massive improvement over both actual results and perception and for any Pac-10/12 team, historically counts as a strong season. 8 wins qualifies in my book as a “successful” season at this stage so that, even though Tedford should have the grace to retire (because getting 8 wins in the past with the talent was not justified), I wouldn’t demand he be fired.

    7 or less, well, then I get to beat the drum some more.

  • MikeD

    @Eric problem is with the JT contract, with each 8 (?) win season he adds another year to the backend of the contract. That is not acceptable to me

    I’m definitely conflicted but in the end as long as JT stays this zebra ain’t changing its stripes, these kids bust their asses for 4 years with the hopes of working within a winning program that maximizes talent – that is nowhere near the definition of this program, now or in the not so near past

  • rollonubears

    We’ve really become NFLU. I think most of the too kids come here to end up playing at the next level. It’s amazing that we can’t win championships while sending all these kids on to the big time. At the same time, the Tedford administration is bringing these guys in and getting them ready. Really a paradox.