College

UCLA’s Myles Jack Emerging As 2-Way Threat

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Running back Christian Powell #46 of the Colorado Buffaloes carriesthe ball against linebacker Myles Jack #30 of the UCLA Bruins at the Rose Bowl on November 2, 2013 in Pasadena, California. UCLA won 45-23. (credit: Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

Running back Christian Powell #46 of the Colorado Buffaloes carriesthe ball against linebacker Myles Jack #30 of the UCLA Bruins at the Rose Bowl on November 2, 2013 in Pasadena, California. UCLA won 45-23. (credit: Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

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LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com/AP) — If Myles Jack had wanted to be a running back coming out of high school last year, he had his pick of several SEC schools. He also could have played any position he wanted at Washington, just across the lake from his hometown.

UCLA’s freshman linebacker didn’t really want to carry the ball, though.

“I like to hit,” Jack said. “I like to tackle people.”

Yet one of the nation’s top young defensive players is currently the Pac-12’s offensive player of the week. The 13th-ranked Bruins’ coaches couldn’t resist turning Jack into a two-way player in a key victory over Arizona. And they just might do it again when UCLA (7-2, 4-2 Pac-12) hosts Jack’s hometown Huskies (6-3, 3-3) on Friday night.

Jack rushed for 120 yards on six carries, including a 66-yard run and a touchdown.

“I play defense, but wherever they ask me to play, I’ll make it happen,” Jack said. “As many times as they ask me to, I’ll do whatever the team asks.”

Averaging 20 yards per carry while playing on both sides of the ball was good enough to more than double the combined ground yards between Brett Hundley and Paul Perkins. Hundley, however, certainly doesn’t mind.

“He’s amazing,” Hundley said. “He’s very good. He’s going to do big things for this program, no matter if he’s at running back or linebacker. Just having him in the backfield, he’s very athletic at what he does. He’s a phenom.”

Washington is 6-3 this season, and 3-3 in conference play. The Huskies are ranked 31st in the nation on defense, holding opponents to 357 yards per game.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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