Cal inside linebacker Gerran Brown medically retires from football

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For the second time in the calendar year, a Cal football linebacker has taken a medical retirement.

Head coach Justin Wilcox opened up his post-practice statement to the press with the news that redshirt junior Gerran Brown, who stepped up in a big way for Cal’s defense last season when senior Devante Downs was lost for the season, will join Cameron Saffle on the medically retired list. Reasons for Brown’s decision are undisclosed.

The veteran from Mater Dei High School set a career high with 10 tackles in a game against Arizona last season and scored after recovering a fumble during Cal’s 37-3 upset against Washington State — the game in which Downs was injured. Brown finished fourth on the team in tackles in 2017 with 61 and was poised to take on a starting role this fall.

He began fall camp participating in drills with the team, before donning sweats over the past several practices. With Wednesday’s announcement, he will transition into providing advice to Cal’s linebackers group throughout the season.

“It’s definitely a hard situation, and we all feel for him,” said redshirt senior tight end Ray Hudson in a press conference. “He’s one of those guys who works day in and day out; he’s one of those guys who’s one of the smartest guys on the field.”

While Saffle announced his retirement in January, the news on Brown comes less than two weeks before Cal opens up its season on Sept. 1 against UNC. Expect junior Evan Weaver to pick up the start alongside redshirt senior Jordan Kunaszyk when the Bears’ defense takes the field.

Josh Yuen is the sports editor. Contact him at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @joshcal2020.