My football notebook in today’s paper focuses on linebacker Myles Jack and his impressive work in pass coverage. The versatile true freshman ranks second in the Pac-12 with seven passes defended and tied for first with 1.75 per game. Only two other linebackers, USC’s Hayes Pullard and Oregon’s Rodney Hardrick, sit in the top 20.
Some extra notes from the interview:
— During UCLA’s timeout before Jack’s eventual interception at Utah, defensive backs coach Demetrice Martin told the linebacker to show coverage initially before dropping back from the receiver.
“I kind of looked at him crazy,” Jack said. “I never really play off. He was like, ‘Just do it.’ I said ‘Yes, sir.’ The quarterback looked over, and I was on, and then as he went down to look at the ball, and his cadence and everything, I just stepped back to about five, seven yards. Played it over the top. Cassius (Marsh) hit the quarterback. The ball came out crazy, landed right in my hands. I took off. I was looking forward to scoring. Then I heard Coach Mora’s voice saying ‘Get down, get down.'”
— Jack said he had about 12 missed calls and 40 texts after the pick, which surprised him because he didn’t think too many people would watch a Thursday night game. Most were from friends and family in Seattle and Georgia. The biggest flood of mass texts he’s gotten yet came after UCLA’s win over Nebraska, topping 80 that day.
— In addition to working with 2014 prospects Budda Baker and Stanton Truitt, Jack watched film of Darrelle Revis and Patrick Peterson in order to improve his cover skills. The two have combined for six Pro Bowls and three All-Pro mentions.