Jim Mora on Myles Jack.
Myles Jack has withdrawn from UCLA and will enter the draft.
Did you have a conversation with Myles?
Yes, on Sunday.
What was your reaction?
My focus right now is on this football team and the guys that are playing. I don’t have much reaction to it. I had a feeling it might be coming. I’ve talked to his mom a lot, she’s very influential with him, and I think they’ve thought it over as a family and feel like that’s the best thing. But other than that I don’t really have a reaction other than making sure he knows that I’ve always been there to support him and I care about him very much.
Did you solicit any information for him from your NFL contacts at any point?
No. My personal opinion is I think he’s a tremendous football player and a tremendous athlete. I think it’s very risky to do this. Having been on that side, there’s going to be a lot of speculation as to what position he plays and where he fits. And as I told Myles on Sunday, NFL teams are very, very conservative, and if there’s any question whatsoever, they’ll pass on you in a hearbeat. They’re going to take the sure thing. I explained that to him but I feel like they’d already made their decision. And so like I said, I hope it works out best for him. But as a guy that’s spent half of my life in the NFL, I would move with great caution. And I would tell that to all our players.
Did you think he’d leave this year anyway?
If he played all year I was thinking that we wouldn’t (have him for next year). But when you only play in three games, and that’s all the tape they have on you for your junior year, you know I’ve been in 25 draft rooms and I’ve never seen a guy taken off of that. So I worry about that for him. Because like I said I have a very personal relationship with Myles and his family and his mom and his little brother. We’ve very close. Obviously I want the best for him and I hope it all works out in a way that he plans for it to work out, I really do. And I think that he’ll get himself in great shape and get ready and get rehab and perform well at the combine and perform well in his individual workouts. It’s just a matter of: Do the scouts have enough game film to go off of? And they may, they may not. I mean that’s their decision, not mine. I just know that I’ve never seen it, so it’s kind of a new role for me. Pro coaches and pro scouts want to see tape. They want to see football. Myles, his talent is without question. He’s extremely talented, incredible athlete, plays with great energy and great passion, and great emotion, and can do so many different things. I hope that he’s put enough out there that they can get a true evaluation, because if they can’t, they’re not going to take you. They’re just not, they don’t take on speculation in the first round. Maybe in later rounds, you can take a flyer on a guy, but there’s no such thing as an NFL GM who takes a flyer on a first rounder. I’ve never heard that.
Has Myles obtained an agent?
No, he hadn’t as of Sunday.
Could he come back?
This is brand new to me. I’ve never seen it or been involved in it, so I don’t know.
Is there an advantage to Myles declaring now?
Yeah, he doesn’t see any point in staying in school. He’s going to go get some personal training and rehab. A lot of these guys end up going somewhere, so he’s picked out a place that he’ll go to. He’ll get very in depth, detailed, progressive, focused rehab and training. He doesn’t have to worry about going to school. His grades, I know he’s done well in school. So he’s taking his chips and shoving them in the middle and we hope that he draws a good hands. Like I said, I really care about this young guy. I care about them all but I’ve known Myles since he was 12 years old so it’s a little different.
Will he have time to get fully healthy?
It’s a four to six month recovery. Myles seems to be a pretty fast healer. He’ll be able to take 100 percent of his concentration and work on his rehab. It’s my feeling that he will be fine. I’m sure he thought that out.
Will he be able to use UCLA’s facilities to train?
I don’t know about that. If he’s not a UCLA student, I’m not sure what the rules are. Like I said, it’s all kind of new to me. I’ve never really looked into it. That’s something that if he wants to, I’m sure we’ll talk to compliance and see what the rules are. But right now, his plan is to go elsewhere, get away from school, get away from L.A., get into an environment where he can really just focus on one thing, rehabbing his knee and getting himself prepared for the next step.
Will he have any involvement with the program?
He would love to, he doesn’t want to feel like he’s abandoned this team at all. He’d like to do whatever he can, but once again, I don’t know what the rules allow. I haven’t detailed those things out, so I don’t know what those are. But if he’s out of state, it would be hard for him to be around, other than emotional support, staying in touch with the guys, things like that. It’s a very unique situation. The timing caught me by surprise but I don’t hold any ill will or grudges or anything. I think everyone has to do what they have to do for themselves. And he’s a good person, a great young man. He has a tremendous future, I believe, and I support him 100%.