Former UCLA football players at NFL OTAs

Former UCLA linebacker Myles Jack is in line to take the starting middle linebacker role for the Jacksonville Jaguars in his second season in the NFL. (Rick Wilson/AP Photos)

Myles Jack has always been celebrated as a jack of all trades. His rare athletic ability allows him to roam freely between positions, but as the former UCLA Bruin is entering his second year in the NFL, Jack is starting to find his steady home.

During organized team activities with the Jacksonville Jaguars, Jack has taken up the starting middle linebacker role. He told reporters it was a “relief” to have one position instead of bouncing between all three linebacker roles like last year.

“It’s definitely been great because now I know exactly what I’m doing and I can focus these next couple months exactly on what I’m doing,” Jack told ESPN late last month.

While relieved to find his role on the team, Jack told reporters he was nervous about the change because it meant displacing Paul Posluszny. Jack felt uncomfortable approaching the 10-year veteran, but has been receiving advice from Posluszny on how to play the position.

“Poz is such a professional,” Jack told the Florida Times-Union. “He was like OK, lets get it right. If this is what it takes to win, this is what we’re going to do.”

Links from the past few weeks on some other former Bruins going through OTAs:

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UCLA football links: Commit Dorian Thompson-Robinson in Elite 11

UCLA quarterback commit Dorian Thompson-Robinson was one of the 12 quarterback prospects named to the Elite 11 on Monday after a three-day competition in Redondo Beach this past weekend.

Thompson-Robinson has yet to start a high school game, as he sat behind Ohio State’s Tate Martell at Bishop Gorman, but is still a highly touted prospect. Scout and Rivals both give the 6-foot-1, 200-pound quarterback four stars.

The Elite 11 will be invited to The Opening Finals in Beaverton, Ore., at Nike’s headquarters to compete among the top prospects from other positions in the premier recruiting event of the summer.

SB Nation writes that Thompson-Robinson was “one of the most impressive guys” for the weekend.

The full list of Elite 11 quarterbacks:

  • Trevor Lawrence (Clemson commit)
  • Justin Fields (Penn State commit)
  • Tanner McKee
  • Jack Tuttle (Utah commit)
  • Devin Leary (NC State commit)
  • Tyler Shough
  • Camm Cooper (Washington State commit)
  • Quincy Patterson (Virginia Tech commit)
  • Jarren Williams (Kentucky commit)
  • Matt Corral (USC commit)
  • Justin Rogers (TCU commit)
  • Dorian Thompson-Robinson (UCLA commit)

Other links:

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Cade McNown, Ken Norton Jr. on College Football HOF ballot

UCLA quarterback Cade McNown was named to the 2018 College Football Hall of Fame ballot on Tuesday. AP Photo/Kevork Djansezian

Former UCLA quarterback Cade McNown and linebacker Ken Norton Jr. landed on the ballot for the 2018 College Football Hall of Fame class on Thursday.

McNown (1995-98) was a consensus All-American in 1998 while winning the Johnny Unitas Award. He was third in the Heisman voting and a finalist for the Davey O-Brien Award after setting UCLA season records for passing yards (3,470), touchdown passes (25) and total offense (3,652), all marks that have since been broken. He is still the school leader in passing yards (10,708) and ranks second in total offense (11,285). The West Linn, Ore., native led the Bruins to a school-record 20 consecutive wins during his junior and senior years.

Norton (1984-87) was an All-American in 1987 and was a finalist for the Butkus Award. He led the Bruins in tackling during his junior and senior years and ranks eighth on UCLA’s all-time tackles list with 339. The Westchester High alumnus helped the Bruins to four consecutive bowl wins and the conference championship in 1985. After he was picked in the second round of the 1988 NFL Draft, Norton became the first player in NFL history to win three consecutive Super Bowls (1993, 1994 with Dallas, 1995 with San Francisco).

The National Football Foundation announced the ballot that includes 75 players and six coaches from the FBS level and 98 players and 31 coaches from the FCS level and below. After votes are counted, the 2018 class will be announced Jan, 8, 2018 and inducted on Dec. 4, 2018.

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Pac-12 announces early season football TV schedule

UCLA head coach Jim Mora (Photo by Stan Lim/Staff Photographer)

The Pac-12 announced early season kickoff times and TV information for the 2017 football season on Wednesday.

UCLA will open its season on Sunday, Sept. 3 at the Rose Bowl against Texas A&M at 4:30 p.m. PT in a nationally televised game on FOX. After a short week, the Bruins host Hawai’i on Sept. 9 at 2 p.m. on Pac-12 Networks, then finish the nonconference schedule on the road at Memphis on Sept. 16 on ABC/ESPN2.

UCLA’s only two Pac-12 games with kickoff times so far are the Friday night matchups with Utah on Nov. 3 and California on Nov. 24. Those games are scheduled for 6:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., respectively, with FS1 broadcasts. The remaining Pac-12 game times will be released six to 12 days in advance.

UCLA’s 2017 football schedule:

Sun., Sept. 3: Texas A&M at UCLA, 4:30 p.m. PT, FOX/FOX Deportes
Sat., Sept. 9: Hawai’i at UCLA, 2 p.m. PT, Pac-12 Networks
Sat., Sept. 16: UCLA at Memphis, 9 a.m. PT, ABC/ESPN2 mirror
Sat., Sept. 23: UCLA at Stanford
Sat., Sept. 30: Colorado at UCLA
Sat., Oct. 7: BYE
Sat., Oct. 14: UCLA at Arizona
Sat., Oct. 21: Oregon at UCLA
Sat., Oct. 28: UCLA at Washington
Fri., Nov. 3: UCLA at Utah, 6:30 p.m. PT, FS1/FOX Deportes
Sat., Nov. 11: Arizona State at UCLA
Sat., Nov. 18: UCLA at USC
Fri. Nov. 24: California at UCLA, 7:30 p.m. FS1/FOX Deportes
Fri., Dec. 1 or Sat., Dec. 2: Pac-12 Football Championship Game

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Josh Rosen takes teaching role at Steve Clarkson QB camp

UCLA Bruins’ quarterback Josh Rosen fires a pass during the second half against Stanford Cardinal at Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena on Saturday, September 24, 2016. (Photo by Ed Crisostomo, Orange County Register/SCNG)

After two years of relentless scrutiny and underwhelming results, life is starting to slow down a little bit for Josh Rosen.

“Life’s pretty simple up to this point,” Rosen said on the phone while serving as a counselor at Steve Clarkson’s quarterback retreat this weekend.

The rising junior is one of several top college quarterbacks at the two-day camp in Coronado this weekend serving as counselors for prospects from third to 12th grade. He’s joined by Louisville’s Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson, Michigan’s Wilton Speight and Georgia’s Jacob Eason, among others.

“Being here for the kids, they can have some guys to look up to and see where it could all work out,” Rosen said of his role at the camp. “As counselors, we’re just here to help them out but also to network with each other and make friends and put names to faces to make this quarterback fraternity tighter around the country.”

Rosen’s simpler life is a natural byproduct of being in his third year at UCLA, he said. He knows what to expect from each phase of the year. He’s ditched dorm life for an apartment and refined his diet (no more gluten).

With about two months left until training camp opens, Rosen is still organizing player-run practices with his teammate. They’ve had seven sessions so far and he sees everyone “buying in a little bit more.”

“As we go into camp, we don’t want to miss a beat,” Rosen said. “We don’t want to spin our tires for three days until we actually start moving. We want to get to our first day and be productive with our first step.”

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