It was just an average Monday in the 2013 college football season—then a linebacker was named offensive player of the week.
UCLA linebacker Myles Jack is your Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week. Yep.— Jack Wang (@thejackwang) November 11, 2013
Jack isn't normally a two-way player for the Bruins, but he took six carries against Arizona Saturday night, tallying 120 yards and a touchdown. A rate of 20 yards per carry is excellent for any player, but even more impressive for a guy who hadn't taken a carry all year long.
UCLA desperately needed his production, as well. The Bruins faced a must-win scenario against Arizona and, thanks to his rushing, they topped the Wildcats 31-26 to stay alive in the Pac-12 South race.
The true freshman had been starring at linebacker for the Bruins, tallying 62 tackles, five tackles for a loss, one interception, 10 pass deflections, a fumble recovery and a blocked kick.
Myles Jack said South Carolina, Vanderbilt, Georgia were among the teams would recruited him at RB. Wanted to play LB though.— Jack Wang (@thejackwang) November 11, 2013
Despite his enormous game in the offensive backfield, the Bellevue, Wash., native insisted that the still wants to play linebacker because he likes to hit people, according to Associated Press writer Greg Beacham:
UCLA's Pac-12 offensive POW Myles Jack still prefers playing linebacker: "I like to hit. I like to tackle people. People like Brett."— Greg Beacham (@gregbeacham) November 11, 2013
As excellent as he is defensively, his team might need him to rethink that decision. The Bruins amassed 249 yards on the ground in the win over Arizona, which was their highest output since Sept. 21 vs. New Mexico State.
The UCLA running game had been in shambles since the departure of starter Jordon James.
James had amassed more than 100 yards and at least one touchdown in his first three games but went down with an injury on Oct. 10 against Utah.
He has only seen action in one game since then, briefly playing against Colorado a week ago. After returning to log eight yards on six carries, he sat out the following week against Arizona, opening the door for Jack.
At 6'1", 225 pounds, Jack has the perfect size to be a dominant back, and he showed off some incredible speed and physicality against the Wildcats. He also recorded eight tackles in that contest, which placed him on the Paul Hornung Honor Roll, which is reserved for college football's most versatile players.
Considering his ridiculous stat line against UA, that is the perfect distinction for Jack.
UCLA will host Washington Friday night.
Tune in to ESPN2 at 9 p.m. ET to see where Jack lines up in that contest.