Linebacker Myles Jack has set an impossible bar for incoming freshmen at UCLA.
He burst into the college football world last season as a starter in the second game. He became a national story when he pulled double-duty as a running back. He was named the Pac-12’s freshman defensive and offensive player of the year.
So naturally someone was going to ask him, “Who’s the new Myles Jack this season?”
Kenny Young, a freshman linebacker from River Ridge (La.) Curtis High, was the obvious choice. Only …
“I wouldn’t say somebody is the ‘Myles Jack’ of the camp, I would say Kenny Young is the ‘Kenny Young’ of this camp,” Jack said. “He’s rolling. I like what I’ve seen from him.”
And he’s even a little envious.
“I love his natural instincts to the ball,” Jack said. “Even when the play is not to his side, he’s shedding blockers, making his way to the football. He just has a knack for getting to the ball.”
Defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich said he wanted to see how Young handled coverage and pass rushing. So far, not a problem.
“He stays with guys, like [running back] Jordon James, in coverage,” Ulbrich said. As for his pass rushing skills, there is little finesse. “He just hammers blockers,” Ulbrich said.
UCLA offensive lineman Alex Redmond returned Wednesday from a few days off dealing with heat issues and found he had a new job.
Redmond, a starting guard last season, was pressed into duty at center during UCLA’s evening practice. It became necessary after the Bruins’ top three centers went down.
Starter Jake Brendel is out a few days after spraining his left knee. Scott Quessenberry missed the last three practices because of a concussion. It’s unknown when he will return. Carl Hulick has missed the last three days because of overheating. He is expected to return in the next few days.
Ben Wysocki, a guard and tackle, has also worked at center.
Redmond will go back to guard when Brendel returns.
Conor McDermott got some work at right tackle, where he could earn a starting spot. He has been an observer in team drills as a precaution. He had has left shoulder surgically repaired last fall.
“We don’t want him to overdo it and risk him breaking it again,” Coach Jim Mora said. “We have a good group of linemen and we don’t want to lose any of them. So we’ve been cautious not to grind them into the ground.”
UCLA players got a surprise Thursday. They came out for practice and were immediately sent to the pool at Cal State San Bernardino for a day of relaxation.
The Bruins will practice twice Friday, at 8:30 a.m. and 5:45 p.m., and will break camp Saturday after a 10:45 a.m. practice.
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