Tuesday, November 12, 2013

UCLA’s Jack showcases versatility commonplace in A11FL game

The A11 Football League will be a showcase for National Football League-caliber players who fit the A11FL game.

Versatility is going to be a big part of an A11FL player’s resume – a running back will need to be able to take a direct snap, take a pitch, take a handoff, line up wide, catch screens, go deep, play special teams, mesh with linemen, etc.

One example of A11FL-type versatility on display in college football late Saturday night was turned in by UCLA true freshman linebacker Myles Jack. Jack, the Bruins’ third-leading tackler through nine games and a four-star recruit, turned in a performance in a 31-26 win at Arizona reminiscent of old-school National Football League.

In his first action on offense, Jack ran six times for a team-high 120 yards and a touchdown. In his natural spot at linebacker, he recorded eight solo tackles, a tackle for loss, a fumble recovery and two pass breakups.

It’s not so much that Jack played both ways – it’s that he did so much playing on both sides of the ball:

-       On Arizona’s first offensive possession, Jack had two solo tackles.
-       On the Wildcats’ second offensive drive, he has one solo stop.
-       He had a solo tackle and a pass breakup on Arizona’s final drive of the first quarter.
-       Early in the second quarter, Jack was the intended receiver on an incomplete fake punt.
-       On UCLA’s next drive, he ran once for 29 yards – his first collegiate carry.
-       Jack had a solo tackle on each of Arizona’s next two possessions.
-       He then saw his most extensive offensive action to date on a 16-play, 90-yard drive, running for 4, 13, 8 and 0 yards.
-       Ahead 24-10 early in the third quarter, Jack had a solo tackle and recovered a fumble in the end zone to stop a potential Arizona scoring threat.
-       Jack then put a temporary halt to Arizona’s comeback hopes, running for a 66-yard touchdown to put the Bruins ahead 31-19 with 10:46 left in the game.
-       He had his eighth and final solo tackle of the game on Arizona’s ensuing drive.
-       Jack finished his day with a pass breakup on Arizona’s final drive.

“I’d rather hit people than get hit,” Jack said after his throwback performance.

A player like Jack, however, who is productive on both sides of the ball, will be a big asset in the A11FL – and will have to learn to like hitting and getting hit equally.

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