Myles Jack has been one of the best freshmen defensive players in college football this season as part of a dynamic and tenacious linebacker corps for the UCLA Bruins. His athleticism has served him well on the defensive side of the ball but it was what he did on the offensive side of things for UCLA on Saturday against the Arizona Wildcats that has people talking. After a huge day as a fill-in running back, could Jack be on his way to being a two-way star?
All season long, Jack has been making his mark on the defensive side of the ball. He ranks third on the team in total tackles (63) with five tackles for loss, an interception, a blocked kick and nine pass break ups. He is aggressive and athletic and has been making plays sideline to sideline and been phenomenal when dropping into pass coverage. But head coach Jim Mora has been hinting that he might get some time on the offensive side of the ball at some point this season and he delivered in a major way in Tucson this weekend.
With the UCLA backfield hobbled by injuries (Jordon James didn’t even make the trip to Arizona), Jack stepped up and took off in the backfield. He finished the day with six carries for 120 yards, including a 66-yard fourth-quarter scamper for a touchdown that put the game out of reach for the Bruins. It was a huge boost for the offense which struggled to put the Cats’ away in the second half. Oh, and he also added eight tackles and a fumble recovery in the endzone.
The win helps keep the Bruins in the hunt for the Pac 12 title and ends a decade-long winning drought in Tucson against Arizona. In the bigger picture, however, they’ve found a future star in Jack who will be ready and able to make plays everywhere he lines up. Whether it be on defense breaking up a pass play or on offense breaking off a touchdown run, Jack is a playmaker who will go for with UCLA.