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Football: Muhammad elevated to 1st team

Freshman Khalfani Muhammad, who missed the Washington State game with a concussion, not only has been cleared to play Saturday at UCLA . . . he’s been promoted.

Muhammad was listed with the first offense on the Bears’ latest depth chart and got first-team reps during practice Tuesday. Brendan Bigelow, who has lost four fumbles this season, is listed as the third-team running back.

“It feels good to really come out here for the first time in a week and get a spot. That just means a lot,” said Muhammad, who expects to share ball-carrying dutues. “We’ve got phenomenal athletes and to be among them is pretty great.”

Muhammad said he was diagnosed a week earlier with a concussion. All is better now.

“I’m feeling great, feeling healthy, feeling 100,” he said. “Just got to go out there and compete.”

Muhammad was injured midway through the first quarter of the Bears’ 55-16 loss at Oregon on Sept. 28 after a collision with Boseko Lokombo, a 6-foor-3, 229-pound senior linebacker.

 “I knocked myself out, it looked like,” said Muhammad, who is 5-8, 175. “I ran into the dude.”

Asked if he’s ever been advised to avoid running into a bigger player, the former two-time California high school state spring champ said, “I don’t pay attention to that. This is football. You’re going to get hit regardless, whatever size you are. You’ve just got to go out there and play.”

Muhammad has rushed for 99 yards in four games and six receptions for 117 yards. His per-carry rushing average of 4.5 yards is best among Cal’s backs. He also is averaging 23.2 yards on kickoff returns, and will continue to handle that duty.

Jeff Faraudo