UCLA Football: What Is Myles Jack's Future with the Bruins?
Myles Jack is an absolute freak. The term "freak", in this context, is a very good thing.
The true freshman linebacker out of Bellevue, Wash., (by way of Atlanta) has been a complete stud this season for the UCLA Bruins.
He played as both a starting outside linebacker and as a running back at times. Although playing in only four games on the offensive side of the ball, Jack accrued seven rushing touchdowns. The versatile athlete also finished fourth on the team with 70 tackles.
Due to his stellar play, Jack was named as the Pac-12 Freshman Offensive and Defensive Player of the Year.
Let's take a look and see where Jack's sky-high trajectory could take him in future seasons.
Defensive Player of the Year in the Conference
Jack has all of the physical attributes to become a future Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year.
At 6'1", 225 pounds, he's athletic enough to cover wide receivers, running backs and tight ends. From a strength and power standpoint, the uber-athlete can take on offensive linemen and rush the passer with great effectiveness.
Jack has already been named the Pac-12 Freshman Defensive Player of the Year. As he continues to hone his skills as a linebacker under the tutelage of former NFL linebacker Jeff Ulbrich, he'll become more savvy as he learns the nuances of the position.
In other words, he's going to continue to get better.
That's a scary proposition for the rest of the conference.
A Potential Heisman Candidate
Jack could in all honesty be the first two-way player to win the prestigious award since Charles Woodson accomplished the feat for Michigan in 1997.
It will depend upon his role offensively in upcoming seasons. Jack was recruited by various schools out of high school strictly as a running back. His preference ultimately was to play as a defensive player.
At one point this year, UCLA had four of its five scholarship running backs out due to injury. Jack first made an appearance against Arizona in Tucson. In that game, he had six carries for 120 yards and a touchdown.
Against Washington later in the season, he had four rushing touchdowns.
In the current climate of college football, it might not be feasible to assume that Jack can be an effective two-way player. The number of spread offenses functioning at faster and faster tempos would likely make the proposition unrealistic.
Regardless, Jack does have a shot at the Heisman Trophy in the future (assuming that he continues to see time on offense).
His Future with the Bruins Is Short
This might be a sobering prognostication for fans of UCLA Football: Myles Jack's tenure in Westwood (barring injury) will not last past his junior season.
Jack is a perfect amalgam of physicality, speed and athleticism. He should be ideally equipped to play in an NFL system that prizes versatility. Not only has he demonstrated the ability to cover in space, but he's stout enough to play in the box and shuck offensive linemen en route to ball-carriers.
In essence, Jack truly does represent the "new age" linebacker in the National Football League. He will be a first-round pick if he's able to stay healthy.