UCLA’s Myles Jack could see more time as a running back

UCLA linebacker Myles Jack played on defense almost exclusively during the Bruins' 42-35 win over Memphis on Sept. 7. UCLA Coach Jim Mora says he'd like to expand Jack's role at running back.
(Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press)

It may be a ruse -- let’s get the opponent worrying about something -- but UCLA Coach Jim Mora said he would like to give Myles Jack a bigger role as a running back.

Jack, a multiskilled linebacker, was back in the backfield against Memphis on Saturday night. He had two carries, one a bull-like four-yard touchdown run.

“We would like to expand his role,” Mora said. “It’s a delicate dance because he is such a great linebacker. You can’t take away what he does best and make him average at two things.”

Jack, a sophomore, has hardly been average.


He was already a force as a linebacker last season when the Bruins put him at running back against Arizona late in the season. Jack had 120 yards, 66 coming on a touchdown run. He finished the season with 267 yards and seven touchdowns as a running back, and was named the Pac-12’s offensive and defensive freshman of the year.

But Jack was absent from the backfield in the Aug. 30 season opener against Virginia. He was on Mora’s mind, though.

“I would be on the headphones with the offense, then flip over to the defense and say, ‘Get Myles ready,’ ” Mora said. “Then we would get a first down or score a touchdown before we could send him in there.”

Mora said that giving Jack more of a workload in practice won’t be a problem.

“When you’re a ballcarrier, you don’t have to learn the entire scheme,” Mora said. “We teach him to memorize what he has to do, then go out and perform. He’s done this for a year now and has a better grasp of the game. It’s easier for him to comprehend what we want him to do when we put in something new.”

Or, it’s just a ruse.