August 1, 2012
BERKELEY - Junior linebacker Khairi Fortt (ky-REE Fort) has signed a scholarship agreement at Cal and is transferring from Penn State, head coach Jeff Tedford announced Wednesday. Due to recent NCAA sanctions against the Nittany Lions' football program, Fortt becomes immediately eligible to play in 2012 for the Golden Bears.
"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, who finished 2012 spring practice listed as Penn State's co-starter at middle linebacker, played in 22 contests with one start over the last two seasons for the Nittany Lions after enrolling at the school in January of 2010. He compiled two-year totals of 50 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss (-23 yards) and 2.5 sacks (-16 yards).
Fortt played in every game off the bench as a 2011 sophomore, recording 33 tackles, 6.0 tackles for loss (-22 yards) and 2.5 sacks (-16 yards). He posted season highs of six tackles vs. Eastern Michigan, 2.0 tackles for loss (-5 yards) in the TicketCity Bowl vs. Houston and 1.5 sacks (-13 yards) against Iowa.
As a true freshman in 2010, he played in nine of the Nittany Lions' 13 games and registered 17 tackles and 0.5 tackles for loss (-1 yard). Fortt recorded a career-high 11 stops and 0.5 tackles for loss (-1 yard) in the lone start of his Penn State career against Illinois during his freshman campaign.
Fortt was the nation's No. 5 rated prep outside linebacker according to Rivals, while Scout had him at No. 11 following his 2009 senior season at Stamford High School in Connecticut. He earned second-team USA Today All-American honors and was selected to play in the prestigious U.S. Army All-American Bowl as a senior despite being slowed by injury, as he finished with 63 tackles, 2.5 sacks and an interception, which he returned 46 yards for a touchdown. Fortt put up his best prep numbers as a junior when he recorded 118 tackles, five forced fumbles and four interceptions to earn a spot as one of only 30 players in the nation on the U.S. Army Player of the Year Award watch list prior to his senior season.
Tickets for Cal's return to a renovated Memorial Stadium in 2012 are currently on sale by calling (800) GO BEARS (800-462-3277), online at CalBears.com, or in person at the Sales and Service Center located in the Haas Pavilion Club Room Monday-Friday from 8:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. PT. More season-ticket information is available at CalBears.com. For updates on the progress of the renovation and retrofit of Memorial Stadium, visit californiamemorialstadium.com.
In addition to the Sept. 1 season-opener vs. Nevada, Cal's 2012 seven-game home schedule includes contests against Pac-12 foes Arizona State, Oregon, Stanford, Washington and UCLA, as well as a non-conference game against Southern Utah.