The praise has been rolling in for UCLA true freshman linebacker Myles Jack, who was also the Bruins’ leading rusher in a win over Arizona last weekend. Jack had eight tackles, a fumble recovery, two passes defended, and he rushed for 120 yards and a touchdown on six carries. The only recent player who would serve as a fair comparison to Jack would be Owen Marecic, who played linebacker and fullback for Stanford, and once scored touchdowns on consecutive plays (one on offense and the other on defense). Before that, Charles Woodson did damage as a two-way player and won the Heisman Trophy for Michigan in the 1997 season, though he primarily played defense.
Woodson was stellar as a defensive back and also scored five offensive touchdowns in his career, per College Reference. But former UCLA coach Rick Neuheisel, who is now an analyst with the Pac-12 Network, believes Woodson didn’t have the same kind of impact on the field that Jack did.
Jack Wang of the LA Daily News wrote up a great article on Jack’s two-way prowess. In the article, he included this quote from Neuheisel.
“[Charles Woodson] didn’t have the same kind of impact that Myles had the other night,” Neuheisel said.
He might be right. If UCLA continues to allow Jack to run the ball — and that is a possibility with all their injuries at the running back spot — he could end up having more of an impact that Woodson did in ’97. He won’t win the Heisman, but it’s arguable that he’ll be doing more for his team.
Bruins fans would sure love to see Jack play more on offense considering he’s probably the team’s best rusher.