Freshman defensive end Takkarist McKinley of Richmond won’t be with the Cal football team this season, coach Sonny Dykes said at Pac-12 Conference football media day on Friday.
McKinley did not qualify academically to enroll at Cal and will attend a Bay Area junior college, Dykes said.
“I’m disappointed for Tak,” Dykes said. “He worked hard and did everything he could to get eligible. He had some room to make up when we signed him and we knew this was a potential issue.
“He put the work in and we wanted to support him and give him every opportunity to get it done. And he will.”
McKinley, from Kennedy High, will become a “free agent” on the recruiting front, with anyone able to pursue his talents. He signed a national letter-of-intent with Cal last February, but the Bears will have to re-recruit him at this point.
Fellow would-be freshman defensive end Garrett Hughes of Centennial-Corona also won’t be with the Bears this season, but is expected to enroll for the spring semester in January.
“Bottom line, just kind of came down to numbers — that was something that communicated during the process,” Dykes said of Hughes. “He had more (academic work) to get done and (there were) some scholarship numbers as well.”
Cal will miss the two young defensive ends, expected to compete for playing time in the Bears’ new 4-3 defensive alignment. But Dykes said linebacker is an area of depth and that outside linebackers such as Brennan Scarlett and Chris McCain will be used at the end spots.