Myles Jack | UCLA Football Commit Stars At Bellevue

Bellevue (Wash.) High School running back/linebacker Myles Jack is made for football. It starts with his name (how can it get any more perfect than that?), carries over to his build (he’s listed as 6’3″ 235 lbs.) and then finishes with his ability. Not only does Myles Jack look different than everyone else on the field; he plays different than everyone else too. That’s why the senior received scholarship offers from all over the country — finally committing to UCLA this summer.

Myles Jack Bellevue High UCLA Football

Myles Jack

I’ve had two chances to watch Myles Jack this year, and the kid has impressed me both times. My first glimpse of Jack came in a game against 4A Bothell (Bellevue is a 3A school) earlier in the season. I’m new to the Seattle area, so I didn’t know much about Myles before the game started. I quickly learned that he was the player to watch. Jack laid one of the biggest hits I’ve seen this year when he drilled Bothell quarterback Ross Bowers. The ball popped out of Bowers’ hands for a fumble, which was then scooped up by Bellevue for a touchdown.

The second time I saw Myles Jack was just last week against Mt. Si. It was a clash between the No. 1 (Bellevue — winners of 33 straight games now — ranked as one of the top teams in the country) and No. 2 (Mt. Si) 3A teams in the state, and Jack dominated from beginning to end. He capped Bellevue’s opening drive with a 19-yard touchdown run and then added what I’m calling the ‘run of the year’ in the second quarter. Jack took the handoff, jolted to his left, but quickly ran into trouble. He was able to stiff-arm his way past a couple of defenders, but then he was wrapped up and taken toward the ground. Jack never touched the turf though, instead he rolled over the defender (who wound up underneath him) and hopped right back on his feet. Jack immediately had to fend off another Mt. Si player before he cut back toward the middle of the field for an amazing 78-yard touchdown. I’m not exaggerating when I say it’s the most impressive run I’ve ever seen at the high school level.

Myles Jack | Future UCLA Football Star

Myles Jack playing defense

As impressive as he is on offense, Myles Jack is a beast on defense as well. I already talked about his big hit against Bothell, but that’s just the beginning. Jack, who is listed as an outside linebacker, plays as a down lineman most of the time. It’s that new hybrid position — looking more like a defensive end than a linebacker. No matter how he’s lined up, Jack has no trouble getting to the quarterback (unless he’s triple teamed like he often was last week). I don’t think he registered a sack in the game against Mt. Si, but he hurried the quarterback several times. Jack’s most impressive defensive play happened in the second half: the Mt. Si quarterback rolled to his left, Jack caught up with the QB as he threw the ball, and with one arm (yes, just one arm) Jack forcefully tossed the quarterback to the ground (the QB slid across the wet grass like he was pushed over by a bulldozer).

While Myles Jack is a monster on the football field, he seems like a nice kid off it. He called me ‘sir’ probably ten times in our five-minute postgame conversation. I also talked to one of Bellevue’s assistant coaches about Jack and he told me no one can say a bad thing about the guy, saying he’s an all-around good kid.

According to Scout.com, Myles Jack is ranked as one of the best outside linebackers in the country (rated No. 17), while Rivals.com lists him as the third best prospect in Washington (behind Skyline quarterback Max Browne (committed to USC) and his Bellevue teammate Sean Constantine (committed to Washington)). Jack received scholarship offers from Purdue, Georgia Tech, Mississippi State and pretty much everyone from the Pac-12. The assistant coach told me it wasn’t an easy decision for Jack, but he verbally committed to UCLA in June.

A polite kid with a world of talent — it’s hard to not root for Myles Jack. He still has a state championship on his mind this season, but it’s on to national championship dreams at UCLA after that. It’ll be fun to see how his career plays out with the Bruins.

Have you ever seen Myles Jack in action? What do you think of him? I’d love to hear from you! Leave a message below or connect with me on Twitter, Facebook and Google+. Don’t forget to also check out http://allaroundtim.com for more great sports coverage!

Ross Bowers | Bothell Quarterback Is Rising Star

Bothell (Wash.) High School quarterback Ross Bowers is a star on the rise. He’s only a sophomore, so you won’t likely hear about him in recruiting circles for another season or two – but Bowers will be a big recruit when the time comes. It’s early in the season, but I’ve watched Bowers play twice this year, and his skills shine even against the best competition in the state.

Ross Bowers Bothell Quarterback

Ross Bowers

The first time I watched Ross Bowers he was facing off against Max Browne (the top quarterback recruit in the country this season) and No. 1 ranked Skyline (Wash.). Bothell quickly jumped out to a 14-0 lead behind two touchdown passes by Bowers. I didn’t know anything about him, but his skill was apparent. I was so focused on Browne early in the game, that I didn’t even know Bowers’ name until I checked the roster after his first touchdown pass. That’s when I realized Bowers was only a sophomore, and I was watching a future star in the making.

Bowers made some late mistakes in that game (showing he still has room to improve), but he finished 15 of 33 for 224 yards with three touchdowns and one interception. He also lost a fumble deep in his own territory late in the contest that gave Skyline a safety. Despite his mistakes, the Skyline players were impressed with Bowers’ skills:

“I’ve gone to camps with him, and he’s a heck of a player,” Skyline defensive back Nic Sblendorio told The Seattle Times after the game. “He’s for sure going to be a D-I player. He’s just a heck of a quarterback.”

Ross Bowers Quarterback Bothell

Ross Bowers in action against Bellevue

Bowers’ stat sheet wasn’t quite as impressive last week when he battled Bellevue (Wash.) — the top 3A team in the state. Bowers had no protection, so he had no time to throw the football. Bowers took hit after hit after hit. One hit was so big that it jarred the ball loose, and it was scooped up by Bellevue for a touchdown. Bowers could have pouted or acted defeated, but he didn’t — he kept popping right back up. That’s what I liked most about him. Instead of whining or acting injured, Bowers looked motivated to get up and try again. It was clear he wanted more than anything to just shove it down Bellevue’s throat. That drive, motivation and maturity will help Bowers make it to the next level.

It’s easy to forget Ross Bowers is just 15-years-old when you watch him play. He won’t even be a freshman in college until 2015. Bowers is already listed at 6’2″ 175 pounds, and he has plenty of room/time him to grow. He comes from good genes. Bowers’ dad John was a long-time assistant football coach at the D-I level (he even coached linebackers for two season under Urban Meyer at Bowling Green), while his mom Joanne is the head women’s gymnastics coach at the University of Washington.

Here’s a look at Ross Bowers from a camp/combine this spring:

Listed as a pro-style quarterback by Rivals.com, Bowers has Florida, LSU and Texas listed as some of his college choices. Only time – and tons of recruiting letters, visits, etc. – will tell where Ross Bowers will end up. All I know is that it will be fun to see how his career shakes out. I’ll be one of the many watching closely.

I’m always excited to hear from you. Simply leave a comment below or connect with me on Twitter, Facebook and/or Google+. Don’t forget to also visit http://allaroundtim.com for more great sports coverage!

Max Browne | Future USC Quarterback Shining At Skyline

It’s not hard to see why USC jumped all over Skyline quarterback Max Browne. He’s the top ranked quarterback prospect in the country for a reason. The kid is 6’5″ 215 pounds and he’s just starting his senior year of high school. On top of his prototypical size, Browne is oozing with talent, and it looks like there’s plenty of room for him to get even better before he heads to USC, wrapping up his final year at Skyline.

Max Browne Skyline Heading To USC

Max Browne

I watched Max Browne play in person for the first time last Friday night. It was Skyline’s season opener against Bothell. Browne admitted to me after the game that he started slow, but his efforts were still enough to lead Skyline to a 33-21 win. Browne went 24-of-35 for 291 yards, with one touchdown and an interception. Browne did some damage on the ground as well, running 11 times for 25 yards and a touchdown.

I was most impressed with Browne when I interviewed him after the game. He was a nice, well spoken, and smart kid. When you add intelligence to Browne’s package of size and skill, it’s not hard to see why Browne is the No. 3 overall prospect in the country — and why USC is itching to get him into their program.

Max Browne has a lot to live up to this season, but it’s mostly his own fault after putting up gaudy numbers the last two years at Skyline. Browne went for 4,034 yards, 45 touchdowns and only seven interceptions last year, and that’s after throwing for 4,182 yards, 50 touchdowns and 13 interceptions as a sophomore. His resume was more than enough for USC to throw a scholarship at Browne, who committed to the Trojans in April. According to Rivals.com, Browne also had offers from Alabama, Auburn, Oklahoma and many other national powers.

The praise for Max Browne comes from everywhere. ESPN says Browne is ”one of the more complete passers in terms of measurables, arm strength and ability to make all the throws,” while Scout.com says “mechanically, you could do an instruction video on him as his ball placement, release, and drops are college level right now.” Aside from his foot speed (which is about the only knock on Browne), the compliments go on and on.

Here’s a video of Max Browne so you can judge for yourself:

You never know what’s going to happen (take former Skyline/BYU/current Kansas quarterback Jake Heaps for example), but it looks like Max Browne’s future is bright. With Matt Barkley finishing up his senior season at USC, the starting quarterback position is up for grabs next season. Who’s to say Browne can’t step in right away and guide the Trojans in 2013? It will be fun to see what the future holds.

Have you ever seen Max Browne in action? What do you think of the quarterback’s skills? I would love to hear from you! Simply leave a message below or connect with me on Twitter, Facebook and/or Google+. Don’t forget to also check out http://allaroundtim.com for more sports coverage, including a story on a 14-year-old quarterback who recently committed to the University of Washington.