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Wednesday, January 7, 2009
Boost for Cal's offensive line: Tepper gets sixth year

By ESPN.com staff
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Ted Miller

California offensive tackle Mike Tepper's petition for a sixth year of eligibility has been granted by the NCAA.

The 6-foot-7, 321-pound Tepper started 13 games in 2007 and two in 2006 but missed all of 2008 with a pectoral injury and a severely strained groin. He sat out in 2005 due to a broken leg he suffered after he was hit by a car while trying to confront some thugs harassing a female friend.

"Personally, this is a chance to end my Cal career the right way, both academically and athletically," Tepper said in a statement released by the school. "This opportunity means a lot to me and I'm happy to play with these guys one last time. I'd also like to thank Chris Stivers in our compliance office. He compiled all of the documentation and put together my case. I owe this entire opportunity to him."

All-American center Alex Mack and guard Noris Malele are departing, but with Tepper's return, Cal will welcome back seven offensive linemen with starting experience.