For the ninth edition of Go Joe Bruin’s 26-part recruiting profile series, we highlight two-way prospect Myles Jack.
UCLA and head coach Jim Mora had a massive haul on the defensive side of the ball in 2013, as Jack is the seventh primary defender to be profiled among the top-nine overall signees. The only offensive recruits to make the cut so far were Asiantii Woulard and Eldridge Massington, a pair of 4-star playmakers who’ll make plenty of noise as Bruins. But, with no intent to belittle those two, the hype this offseason is all about the future of the UCLA defense.
Jack is the latest in a slew of elite recruits to join the Bruins’ D, but he may be one of the biggest steals of the class. The 6’2″, 215-pound inside linebacker chose UCLA out of a group of 15 diverse offers, including seven from other Pac-12 teams. Jack is a native of Bellevue, Wash., which is less than 30 minutes away from the University of Washington campus, so many thought the hometown Huskies would secure his pledge. And yet, even when Marques Tuiasosopo left UCLA for a job with UW, Jack spurned Seattle and stuck with the Bruins.
According to 247Sports’ Composite Rankings, Jack is the No. 10 ILB nationally, and the No. 2 overall prospect out of Washington. Needless to say, that’s a huge get for the UCLA linebacking corps—but it’s Jack’s versatility that makes him such an important recruit.
In addition to shredding opposing O-lines on the pass rush, Jack tore through his fair share of defensive lines as a running back. His 40-yard dash time is listed at a blistering 4.5 seconds, which is amazing given his big body. During his junior season in 2011, Jack rushed for 500 yards and six touchdowns, and followed that up with a 98-tackle year as a senior (32 TFL, 24 sacks). And while his sheer size and speed won’t be as overpowering at the college level, he should still bring a nice level of productivity to the UCLA roster.
Given the loaded cast of returning veterans at LB, Jack will most likely take a redshirt year in 2013 to preserve his eligibility. Jack would be next in line in 2014 to rebuild a unit that could lose Anthony Barr, Eric Kendricks and Jordan Zumwalt after this season. However, if Coach Mora wants to get Jack on the field as soon as possible, he could carve out a role for himself on special teams, or maybe as a change-of-pace back in the running game.
Whether or not Jack takes the turf at the Rose Bowl as a true freshman, he will be a key component of the UCLA game plan soon enough. The Bruins defense is shaping up to be a force in the Pac-12 for years to come, and Jack is another reason for optimism in Westwood.