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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