NOTEBOOK: More Surgery for McClure

Stefan McClure and Mustafa Jalil to go under the knife, Maximo Espitia tries out a new position and more from Monday's practice as the Bears get ready to face No. 11 UCLA.

BERKELEY -- While Kameron Jackson was back with the first-team defensive backfield on Monday, the California football team was still without No. 1 corner Stefan McClure, who, during Saturday's loss to Washington State, re-injured the same knee in which he tore his ACL, MCL and meniscus at the end of the 2011 season – an injury which kept him on the shelf for 20 months.

"He's going to have surgery on Wednesday, and we'll see at that point, what it is," said head coach Sonny Dykes. "It could be two or three weeks. It could be the season. We'll know then. They'll go see what the damage is and we'll figure it out from there."

In his place, redshirt junior Adrian Lee had a fine day of practice, coming off of a strong performance Saturday, when he and Isaac Lapite had to take over for McClure, Jackson and Joel Willis, who was taken to a hospital after injuring his head, but is expected back for this weekend's tilt against No. 11 UCLA.

"Lee, we've kind of been waiting for him to do something," Dykes said. "He's a good athlete. I think he caught our attention in the spring, and he kind of disappeared for a while, but seems like he's back, re-engaged, and hopefully, we can get something out of him. I thought he did some good things in the game. He's got to tackle better. He missed a couple of tackles, lost some leverage a couple of times, but I thought he covered well. He can run. We're hoping it gives us a boost."


In order to alleviate the paucity of depth in the defensive backfield, a decision was made in the middle of last week to start repping inside receiver Maximo Espitia at safety – a position he last played with any kind of regularity during his junior year at Salem (Ore.) South Salem High School.

"We're going to move Max to safety, see how he does over there," Dykes said. "He's a good athlete. He's got some range, can run pretty good. He played some safety in high school, so we'll see how he adjusts and what he can do."

It's unlikely that Espitia will see any time during Saturday's game against the Bruins on defense, but he's enjoyed the adjustment period, thus far, which has been aided by some walking wounded, as he stood behind the defense on the south end of the field, watching plays develop.

"Avery had a lot to say, just teaching me a lot and sitting in the back, talking to me," Espitia said of injured safety Avery Sebastian, who went down in the second quarter of the season opener.

Espitia said that paying safety again was tougher than riding a bike, but easier to re-learn.

"It's a better adjustment for me, I guess," he said. "We were lacking a few people on defense, and I think it was just me showing up in practice and they wanted to get me on the field, so they switched me over, and thought it would be a good fit."

The biggest re-adjustment for Espitia, he said, has been the complexity of a college defense.

"It's a lot more than high school, but once I get the hang of it, I think I'll be good," Espitia said. "I was taking a lot of mental reps, just following the safeties and miming them, everywhere they went, following their calls, trying to get it down."


For the first time this season, defensive tackle Mustafa Jalil was officially listed as "out for the season," on the semiweekly injury report.

"He's going to have a new surgery sometime either this week or the first part of next week," Dykes said. "He's having cartilage issues in his knee."

With depth also an issue on the ends of the defensive line, Antione Davis got a significant amount of snaps with the second team on Monday.


True freshman Aaron Cochran took second reps at left tackle – and a handful of first-team reps – behind Freddie Tagaloa on Monday, while Christian Okafor was relegated to scout team duty.

Dykes said that it was a mix of Cochran being further along than anticipated and just needing bodies, at this point, with Cochran's older brother Matt – the starting right guard – and the starting center -- Chris Adcock -- going down with injuries.

"He's working in, getting some reps, and getting better and improving," Dykes said. "We'll continue to bring him along, and see how he does ... We lost some guys, so we need to make sure we're repping enough players in case something happens. A lot of that's just contingency plans."

Dykes said that Okafor's sojourn on the scout team is just for the week, as of now.

"I think when it's all said and done, Okafor is back in the mix," Dykes said.


Linebacker Jalen Jefferson was at practice in a jersey, but did not participate as he returns from a head injury, but Dykes expects to have his starting SAM linebacker back for Saturday. In his stead, Lucas King was running with the first team.

"I would think they both would," Dykes said of Jefferson and Willis, who was taken to the hospital after suffering a head/neck injury during the game against the Cougars. "It'll depend on how they progress. I would expect them to play … Any time that somebody kind of suffers the kind of injury [Willis] did, where it was a little bit unusual, where he didn't get hit, I think you want to make sure they get checked out, and that's why he spent the night in the hospital. I don't think it was any indication of how serious the injury was. It was more just a precautionary measure."


Wide receiver Maurice Harris was back in pads after missing last game, and showed no rust running routes or catching the ball.


Following his 200-yard game last week against Washington State, wide receiver Chris Harper continued to rep on the inside on Monday.


17 players underwent a bit of discipline after practice for missing academic obligations, doing up-downs and plate-pushes, while tailbacks Brendan Bigelow and Daniel Lasco -- who combined for three fumbles on Saturday – ran wind sprints across the end zone with balls in hand.


Receivers coach Rob Likens crowed that the word of the week for the Bears was "finish," as the team started receiver-defensive back one-on-ones.


Tailback Khalfani Muhammad is listed as "probable" on the injury report, and was seen in pads and a red jersey on Monday, taking some one-on-one reps and skeleton reps against defensive backs, though not participating in full-contact work.

In his stead, Jeffrey Coprich, Jr., had another solid day, highlighted by a vicious cut-back move against Ikem Okwudiafor in 11-on-11 work against the scout team. Top Stories