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Nick Forbes medically retires from Cal football with back injury

Cal will have to endure yet another critical loss.

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Spor

Nick Forbes is everything you want in a Cal student-athlete. He's smart, articulate, a hard worker, a role model on and off the field. He was named to the Allstate AFCA Good Works team. He volunteers in the community. It's worth taking a look at some of the great things he's been doing off the field.

- Forbes has done volunteer work for Children's Hospital & Research Center Oakland, City of Berkeley, Playworks, Read Across America, SAGE Mentorship Project and Swim with Mike.

- He has been the vice president of the Golden Bear Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (GBAC) since 2011 and has represented Cal at both the Pac-12 Student-Athlete Advisory Conference and the NCAA APPLE Conference.

- In addition, Forbes has been a speaker at a local elementary school and to youth football teams speaking on the importance of education, respect, treating others right and staying out of trouble. He even found time to host Cal's Oski Student Awards show in the spring of 2013 and organized both a fashion show fundraiser and a student-athlete formal earlier this year.

Unfortunately, his career as a Cal football player is over. Sonny Dykes announced at his Signing Day press conference that Forbes will be medically retiring due to a back injury that kept him from playing the entire 2013 season.

Forbes has struggled with injuries his entire career at Cal (he suffered an injury at spring practice in 2011 that sidelined him that year too) and has only been able to play 13 games as a Golden Bear. But in typical fashion he overachieved during the one season he was healthy, finishing second on the team with 85 tackles in 2012.

With Forbes done, Cal will probably be turning to Hardy Nickerson to start at middle linebacker in 2013. Nickerson had his issues in his true freshman campaign but should be more ready to go this season. The big question will be who backs him up with Chad Whitener's potential transfer looming. There just aren't that many linebackers left.

As for Forbes, the good news with him is that he's almost certainly headed to a very successful career in whatever he decides to do, so I'm pretty sure he'll go on to do great things outside the gridiron. Can't wait to see what he ends up doing. GO BEARS!