The Bears' linebacker depth suddenly grew in both quantity and quality this week with the news that sophomore linebacker Cecil Whiteside would be reinstated and the announcement that junior inside linebacker Khairi Fortt would be immediately transfering from Penn State to Cal after the NCAA handed down stiff penalties to the PSU program, allowing any players transfer without penalty.
The former U.S. Army All-American linebacker was recruited heavily by Cal and had Cal amongst his favorites before committing to the Nittany Lions prior to his senior season in high school in Stamford, CT.
Fortt playeed immediately for Penn State as a true frosh and followed up last season with 33 tackles, including six TFL along with 2 1/2 sacks.
"Basically I wanted to take a leap of faith and trust in God," Fortt told the Stamford Advocate this morning. "This is what's right for me and my family. . The way you go through life is the way you handle adversity. The friends I've made here are friends."
"When the NCAA gave Khairi the opportunity to transfer in this instance, he and his family decided to take a look at our program," said Cal head coach Jeff Tedford. "We are excited to welcome him to the Cal family."
Fortt was in the mix to start in a loaded PSU linebacker unit this year and will come to Cal and push for immediate playing time in a linebacker unit that lost two senior starters after last season in Pac 12 Defensive Player of the Year Mychal Kendricks and senior D.J. Holt.
Fall camp begins on Friday, as players check in, with Fortt expected to be on campus, as well. Players will hit the field in their first official practice on Saturday.