The San Bernardino heat bleeds days together. As the temperature ticks into triple digits and insects buzz about, practice sessions roll toward the 180-minute mark in a haze of thumps and whistles.
Once in a while, though, a big play snaps everything back into focus. One of those came earlier this week courtesy of freshman Myles Jack. During goal-line drills, the linebacker spotted running back Steve Manfro running toward him up the gut of the defense. A second or two later, Jack had pushed Manfro back about five yards, finishing the tackle with a toss.
Recruited as an outside linebacker, Jack is already becoming a dynamic, multi-function tool in the defense.
“I’m learning every spot at linebacker,” said Jack, whom Rivals.com rated the second-best recruit in Washington state. “I’m learning dime, nickel, outside backer. I’m trying to figure it all out. … I feel like I’m versatile enough to fill those roles.”
At 6-foot-2, Jack looks like a player who should lock down a starting spot by next season. The coaching staff already has him guarding wide receivers in one-on-one drills to help refine his coverage skills, an area he said he focused on over the summer.
“His technique is not there yet and he grabs a lot, but his athleticism — it’s unbelievable,” head coach Jim Mora said. “He lowers his center of gravity. He has great change of direction. Amazing quickness. You’ll see us continue to put him down there and cover some wideouts.”
Also a star running back at Bellevue High near Seattle, Jack said offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone hinted that he could be used in certain packages. He added that the coaching staff is thinking of trying him out at kick returner as well.
“Whatever they want me to do, I’ll make it happen for the team,” Jack said.