"It's the offensive line blocking," said Jack, who has 267 yards rushing and seven touchdowns in four games. "I just run through the hole.

"I'm a linebacker. I like hitting people."

Too late, the ironman angle stuck. He was selected the Pac-12's defensive and offensive freshman of the year.

"He has handled the limelight well," Zumwalt said. "He embraces it, but he is so humble about everything."

Vanderdoes is the only other UCLA freshman who understands how harsh the media glare can get. He became a focal point last summer when he sought to get out of his letter of intent with Notre Dame so he could play for UCLA.

"It is kind of annoying sometimes," Vanderdoes said. "You just want to be left alone to do your job and not have that spotlight on you. Myles knows I went through that. That's why he hates it when I tease him."

And tease him he does.

Jack spent the summer calling Vanderdoes "Mr. Five Star" because of his high ranking on recruiting websites. Jack had earned a four-star rating.

"Not anymore," Vanderdoes said. "I told him he took all my stars. He's a nine-star guy now."

chris.foster@latimes.com

Twitter: @cfosterlatimes