On Monday night, linebacker Myles Jack was asked again about his potential future at running back — a question he’s fended off time and time again since erupting for seven touchdowns in four games last season.
Though running backs coach Kennedy Polamalu hasn’t given up on recruiting him to offense, Jack said his heart remains set on being a full-time linebacker. That is, unless a certain former UCLA star asks him to do both.
– With the UCLA in injury-prevention mode, Monday night practice was fairly light and almost entirely non-contact. The Bruins ran some seven-on-seven drills, but otherwise, there wasn’t much competitive work to start the week.
Head coach Jim Mora said he wasn’t sure yet whether or not he would keep the team out of pads for the rest of the week. Schools around the country have already held their spring games, and many of them seem to have played full-on competitions rather than the mixed-drill event UCLA held a year ago. Mora said last week that he hopes for more “actual football” on Saturday at the StubHub Center, but much of that will depend on the team’s health.
“You always want to put on a good show for your fans,” Mora said. “People come out that support your program, I think it’s important that you put on a good show for them. Our primary objective has to be the health of our football team, and I think everyone would understand that.” Continue reading →
Asked if he had a prospective starting tailback yet, assistant coach Kennedy Polamalu went with the stock answer: They’re all No. 1, and they’ll all contribute.
Linebacker Myles Jack, who rushed for seven touchdowns in four games last year, won’t be among the group for the foreseeable future. Though it wouldn’t be surprising for the two-way Pac-12 Freshman of the Year to get some offensive reps once the season starts, he hasn’t practiced there at all this spring.
Graduate transfer Malcolm Bunche left Wednesday’s morning practice early with an undisclosed injury, giving most of the first-team reps at right tackle to redshirt freshman Kenny Lacy. Starting right guard Alex Redmond has seen increasingly fewer contact reps with his left hand still wrapped in a cast; early enrollee NaJee Toran looks like the clear No. 2 behind him.
Guard John Lopez was also absent from practice, forcing even more juggling through the unit.
“It’s hard, and they’re going to make mistakes,” offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone said. “But in the long run, it makes them understand how all five fit together.”
– Mazzone talked a bit about the development of redshirt freshman Asiantii Woulard, who will most likely claim the backup quarterback spot over Jerry Neuheisel by the start of the season. Neuheisel actually looks much more composed and mistake-free than he did even nine months ago, but Woulard’s upside is so much higher. Continue reading →
Four-star safety Budda Baker has decommitted from Oregon, opening up the possibility that UCLA adds another defensive back to its 2014 class.
Baker had Washington and the Bruins as his two other finalists before announcing for the Ducks last month. He played with UCLA linebacker Myles Jack at Bellevue High, and actually helped Jack with his pass coverage last summer. Continue reading →
Senior Anthony Barr picked up his second major All-American mention on Friday, becoming a Sporting News‘ selection a day after also making the Walter Camp Football Foundation’s first team. The linebacker is on track to become UCLA’s first consensus All-American since kicker Kai Forbath in 2009.
Barr was a finalist for four major national awards this season. He won the Lott IMPACT Trophy, but missed out on the Bednarik (best defensive player), Butkus (best linebacker) and Lombardi (best lineman/linebacker) awards.
Linebacker Myles Jack, defensive end Eddie Vanderdoes and right guard Alex Redmond all made the Sporting News’ Freshman All-American team.
Myles Jack is not the most versatile player in college football. At least, not according the Paul Hornung Award selection committee.
LSU receiver Odell Beckham Jr. took the honor Friday morning, his 2,222 all-purpose yards pushing him past the UCLA linebacker/running back. He was the only semifinalist for the Biletnikoff Award, given to the nation’s best receiver, who also ranked top-15 nationally in kick returns (26.87 per, for a total of 806). The junior also played the role of Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel leading up to the Tigers’ 34-10 win over the Aggies.
Jack was the the first player to ever win both Pac-12 Freshman Offensive and Defensive Player of the Year. Continue reading →