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October 27, 2011

Kendricks returns to action

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BERKELEY -- California senior inside linebacker Mychal Kendricks practiced in full today as the Bears took the field in helmets before flying down to Los Angeles. Kendricks still wore a cast on his left hand.

Tailback Isi Sofele also participated fully in the practice after some leg tightness earlier in the week.

"Healthy, we are, yes, we are healthy," said head coach Jeff Tedford. "The typical things that go on during this time in the season, some bumps and bruises, through the beginning of the week, have healed up and guys are ready to go."

The attitude in practice this week has been considerably more chipper than during Cal's three-game losing streak.

"I wouldn't say looser, but I think they had good focus in what's going on," Tedford said.

After spending the last two weeks at home against USC and Utah, Cal will hit the road for a game in the Rose Bowl against the Bruins, before coming back up north to face Oregon State and Washington State.

"Well, really for the first five weeks, they were all road games," Tedford said. "We've only played in the same place [AT&T Park] three times, so I think that part, as far as travel and those types of things, is something we've acclimated to since last spring, when we were moving all around."

The Bears will be facing off against UCLA and Kendricks' younger brother: redshirt freshman Eric Kendricks, who is third among Bruins defenders in tackles (38), while adding two tackles for loss, one sack and one quarterback hurry.

"We looked at him, but we didn't have a need at that position at that time," Tedford said, in regards to recruiting the younger Kendricks. "He's a good player. He's a young guy right now, but he's a good player, playing a lot for them. I don't know if he's got the out-and-out speed that Myke has, but he's still a really good player."

With four wide receivers out due to suspensions, it's likely that redshirt freshman Jerry Rice Jr. will see some time. Rice has yet to record a reception for the Bruins.

"He's just another guy in a uniform," Tedford said. "If it was Jerry Rice, Sr., it'd be another thing."

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