UCLA linebacker Myles Jack and defensive lineman Kenny Clark were named to the Bednarik Award watchlist on Tuesday. The Bednarik Award is given to the top defensive player in college football.
Jack, a two-year starter, has been a star on both sides of the ball but has made his biggest mark on defense. He started all 13 games last season and was named to the All-Pac-12 second team after being selected the offensive and defensive freshman of the year in the conference the season before.
The 6-foot-1, 232-pound Bellevue, Wash., native was second on the team with 88 tackles, including eight for losses. He had seven pass breakups and eight passes defended. For the second season in a row, he recorded an interception in a bowl game. On offense, he rushed for 113 yards and three touchdowns.
Clark, a 6-foot-3, 308-pound junior, made 58 tackles while clogging up the middle of the defense. He made 5.5 tackles behind the line of scrimmage and was named to the all-conference second team.
UCLA held opposing offenses to 3.8 yards per carry last season. Jack and Clark will have to play even bigger roles this season because of the departures of Eric Kendricks (149 tackles, three interceptions) and Owamagbe Odighizuwa (11.5 tackles for loss, six sacks) to the NFL.
The Bruins play Virginia at the Rose Bowl in their opener Sept. 5.