Myles Jack named a Sporting News preseason All-American

UCLA linebacker Myles Jack is the only Bruin picked by the Sporting News as a preseason All-American. He is pictured here during UCLA's 42-30 loss to Oregon on Oct. 11, 2014. (Keith Birmingham/Staff)

UCLA linebacker Myles Jack is the only Bruin picked by the Sporting News as a preseason All-American. He is pictured here during UCLA’s 42-30 loss to Oregon on Oct. 11, 2014. (Keith Birmingham/Staff)

UCLA linebacker Myles Jack was picked as a preseason All-American by the Sporting News, his second such honor this month.

The junior was a second-team selection, echoing his spot on Phil Steele’s list two weeks ago, and was the only Bruin picked.

Three Pac-12 players made the Sporting News’ preseason All-American first team: Oregon tight end Pharaoh Brown, Arizona linebacker Scooby Wright, and USC safety Su’a Cravens.

Joining Jack on the second team are Cal kick returner Trevor Davis, Utah punter Tom Hackett, and USC center Max Tuerk and cornerback Adoree’ Jackson.

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Pac-12 links: Amy Van Dyken recovering after ATV accident

» Former Olympic swimmer Amy Van Dyken-Rouen injured her spine in an ATV accident a year ago. Here’s the Arizona Republic’s story on her journey to try and walk again, as well as the Pac-12 Networks’ feature on her from January:

» New Washington quarterback Tony Rodriguez is “probably the biggest steal at any position out of junior college,” according to CCSF coach Jimmy Collins — clearly an unbiased observer.

» Hale Irwin, a former Colorado cornerback and golfer, reflects on his U.S. Open win 25 years ago — one that made him the tournament’s oldest champion. Continue reading

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UCLA’s David Berg named top relief pitcher in college baseball

UCLA closer David Berg pitches against Cal State Fullerton in the NCAA Super Regionals on June 7, 2013. Berg won the first of his two NCBWA Stopper of the Year awards later that month. (Keith Birmingham/Staff)

UCLA closer David Berg pitches against Cal State Fullerton in the NCAA Super Regionals on June 7, 2013. Berg won the first of his two NCBWA Stopper of the Year awards later that month. (Keith Birmingham/Staff)

When UCLA’s season ended earlier this month, John Savage wanted to make something clear: David Berg was finishing his career as the greatest reliever in college baseball history.

Berg certainly has a good argument. On Saturday, he became the only two-time winner of the NCBWA’s Stopper of the Year award, given each year to the top reliever in the country. The Bruins’ star closer had also won during his team’s title run in 2013, when he set an NCAA single-season record with 24 saves.

As a senior, he was just as good, also earning him his second Pac-12 Pitcher of the Year award. He only had 13 saves — playing in fewer close games — but was second in the country with a 0.68 ERA. He allowed just one run in conference play, notching a 0.22 ERA in 22 appearances. He paired with eventual first-round pick James Kaprielian for the first no-hitter in school history.

Earlier this week, Berg was taken in the fourth round of the MLB Draft by the Chicago Cubs, justifying his decision to turn down a 17th-round selection by the Texas Rangers last year and return for his senior year.

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JJ Molson commits to UCLA as the Bruins’ kicker of the future

UCLA has found its next kicker.

The Bruins received a commitment from JJ Molson on Thursday morning, one day after they extended a scholarship offer to the Montreal native. Molson is currently ranked the No. 2 kicker in the class of 2016 by Chris Sailer, the country’s foremost evaluator of the position.

Molson will arrive on campus to succeed Ka’imi Fairbairn, who is entering his senior season. Fairbairn has been reliable from short range throughout his career, but is 11 of 22 on attempts of at least 40 yards.

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UCLA baseball has eight players picked in 2015 MLB Draft

Four more UCLA baseball players were picked today to end the 2015 MLB Draft, making for a total of eight Bruins selected.

Outfielder Ty Moore, left-handed pitcher Grant Watson, infielder Chris Keck and reliever Tucker Forbes were each drafted, with all of but Forbes going by the end of the 18th round.

Here is the total draft haul out of UCLA this year:

RHP James Kaprielian, Jr. — First round, 16th overall, Yankees
SS Kevin Kramer, RJr. — Second round, 62nd overall, Pirates
RHP Cody Poteet, Jr. — Fourth round, 116th overall, Marlins
RHP David Berg, Sr. — Sixth round, 173rd overall, Cubs
OF Ty Moore, Jr. — 12th round, 367th overall, Pirates
LHP Grant Watson, Sr. — 16th round, 486th overall, Giants
INF Chris Keck, Sr. — 18th round, 527th overall, Rockies
RHP Tucker Forbes, RSo. — 30th round, 906th overall, Giants

A number of Bruin signees were also drafted: Continue reading

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