UCLA LB Rushes For 120 Yards
Might UCLA have found the mirror image Anthony Barr?
Barr, a senior linebacker and All-American candidate, started his Bruins career as an H-back.
On Saturday, the team played true freshman linebacker Myles Jack at running back in a key South Division win against Arizona.
Listed at 6-foot-1, 225 pounds, Jack rewarded the creative thinking by carrying six times for 120 yards, including a 66-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter.
Oh, and he still made eight tackles and recovered a fumble, immediately sparking hype as one of the most athletic two-way players in years.
"We've always talked about it," coach Jim Mora said, according to the Los Angeles Times. "It was just a matter of how much do you give young players to do? At what point do they become saturated and those their effectiveness?"
Jack was a standout two-way player at Bellevue (Wash.) High School.
"He'll be a first-round (NFL) pick as a linebacker," Arizona coach Rich Rodriguez told reporters after the game. "We tried to recruit him as a running back."
Offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone installed a limited offensive package for Jack this week, hoping to boost the Bruins' short-yardage running game. After the game, Mazzone lamented the fact that the team didn't install more plays.
"Noel is kind of a mad scientist," Mora said. "It might be five minutes before we take the practice field and he's up on the board drawing something."
At one point in the game, linebackers coach Jeff Ulbrich told Mazzone to stop wearing out his player, apparently half joking.
Many non-skill players relish the opportunity to touch the football, but don't expect Jack to willingly shift his focus to offense.
"I'd rather hit people than get hit," Jack said.