Who Could Be the NFL's Dominant 'Both Ways' Player? Calais Campbell Says Myles Jack

No player has taken over the summer sports scene like Shohei Ohtani, hitting dingers and pitching dominant games all in the same season. But is there any NFL player who could match Ohtani's rare both ways versatility? Calais Campbell thinks one Jaguars player fits the bill.
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There is only one Shohei Ohtani. The Los Angeles Angels' All-Star has cranked 33 home runs and has a 4-1 record as a starting pitcher, displaying rare versatility within that the majors, and frankly professional sports in general, have not seen for some time. 

But could there be any NFL players who have the skill set to hypothetically follow in Ohtani's path and play both ways, playing both on offense and defense the same way Ohtani hits and pitches? 

That is the question posed by NFL Total Access, with names like Patrick Peterson, Aaron Donald, Derrick Henry, Jeremy Chinn, Trent Williams, and Lamar Jackson earning nods from the hosts. 

But one player who fits the bill perfectly who didn't go mentioned is none other than Jacksonville Jaguars linebacker Myles Jack, who famously played both linebacker and running back as a freshman at UCLA. Jack was given the nod for the role by former Jaguars teammate Calais Campbell.

"The player I believe could dominate both sides of the ball in the NFL like Ohtani does in MLB is none other than Myles Jack," Campbell tweeted Tuesday.

It certainly isn't a stretch for Campbell to say so, either, because Jack has done exactly that. Jack was named both the Pac-12 Conference Offensive and Defensive Freshman Player of the Year as a true freshman in 2013 due to standing out at both linebacker and running back for the Bruins.

Jack started 11 games at linebacker for UCLA as a freshman, recording 70 tackles, five tackles for loss, an interception, a blocked kicked and 10 pass breakups. Jack eventually began to see time at running back as injuries stacked up, rushing for a 66-yard touchdown in his first game at running back against Arizona. That score and performance made him the first-ever Pac-12 defensive player to win offensive player of the week, and he didn't stop there.

In four games at running back Jack rushed for 267 yards on 37 carries (7.2 yards per carry) and seven touchdowns. He became the first freshman to win both offensive and defensive player of the year honors since the conference began the award in 2008 as well. 

"From day one, he just showed a unique athletic ability. There's a lot of great athletes out there but there's very few with his size, his physical nature, his stature, his speed, his quickness, his change of direction, and his athletic arrogance; his belief that he can do anything," Jack's college head coach Jim Mora Jr. told Jaguar Report in April.

"In practice, usually the running backs go against the linebackers in one on one drills. Well, Myles would eat every running back or tight end alive. So we had him go with the corners. So in one on one drills where receivers are running routes against defensive backs, Myles was always playing corner. Not playing linebacker, not playing safety. Playing corner. That's how physically gifted he was."

In fact, the Jaguars were in such a dire state at running back during the 2018 season due to injuries that former head coach Doug Marrone even toyed with the idea of playing Jack at running back. Considering Jack has played every linebacker position in the NFL and came moments away from playing running back, it is hard to disagree with Campbell's choice of Jack as the NFL's version of Ohtani.