The 2013 Pac-12 Freshman Offensive and Defensive Player of the Year awards were won by the same player for the first time since the award was introduced in 2008. That player is Myles Jack and he is, arguably, the best all-around player in the entire nation. Last season, his freshman year, Jack had 70 tackles, five tackles for loss, one interception, 10 pass breakups, and one blocked kick. Linebacker is his natural, and best, position on the field, but Jack excelled as a running back in 2013 as well. In four games at RB last season Jack carried the ball 32 times for 267 yards (7.2 yards per carry) and seven rushing touchdowns, which was good for second on the team behind QB Brett Hundley. In his first game as a RB, November 9 against Arizona, Jack rushed for 120 yards on six carries, including a game sealing 66-yard touchdown, making it the first time in Pac-12 history that a defender won Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week honors. With all that being said I think that Myles Jack should play a total of zero snaps on the offensive side of the ball this upcoming season, and here’s why.
Besides Hundley, Jack is the most important player on the Bruins and putting him in the game to get smacked around as a running back just is not smart. He already takes enough of a beating playing linebacker, so to throw him into a position that takes the worst beating of any position group is asking for trouble if you’re Jim Mora. I know the only reason that Jack was playing running back last season was because of injuries, but in 2014 the Bruins have three running backs who should all get solid playing time. If the Bruins cannot create enough of a rushing attack between Jordon James, Paul Perkins, and Steve Manfro, as well as leading rusher from 2013, QB Brett Hundley the Bruins will be in big trouble. Of course a team cannot control when injuries happen and how many players get injured at a time, but if the running backs listed on the depth chart are healthy there is no reason Jack should waste energy on the offensive side of the ball.
Jack is, arguably, the best defensive player already in the Pac-12 and is a legitimate candidate to be the first Heisman trophy winner from the defensive side of the ball since Charles Woodson in 1997. Whether he can play running back or not is irrelevant; why would you want to increase the chance of Jack getting injured by taking him away from the defensive side of the ball and making him play more snaps on the offensive side? If you have a Heisman type player at a certain position there is no way that they should have to shift their focus to another position as well. The Bruins have something special brewing this season, as a team and with Jack, and if something happens to Jack while playing running back it could really derail a potentially magical season in 2014.
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