Bears’ new middle linebacker Bostic one to watch

By Doug Halberstadt
Sports Columnist

I’ve watched almost all of the Chicago Bears’ three preseason games. The one thing that has stood out to me is the consistent play of rookie middle linebacker Jonathon Bostic. The Bears drafted the 6-foot-1, 245-pound Bostic in the second round of this year’s draft. He was the 50th player chosen overall.

He is the heir apparent to the retired Brian Urlacher. Granted, those are some huge shoes to try to fill, but I’m actually thinking Bostic might possibly just have feet big enough to give it a pretty good go. The guy has incredible speed. He was clocked at 4.59 in the 40-yard dash, and he looks at least that fast when closing on opposing quarterbacks.

He also packs a fairly mean punch when tackling. The NFL fined him $21,000 for a massive hit he made on San Diego Chargers receiver Mike Willie in the Bears’ second preseason game. He’s fast and powerful, the perfect combination to play middle linebacker for Chicago.

Bostic played college football for coach Urban Meyer at the University of Florida from 2009 to 2012. During his time at Florida, he started 32 of 51 games and recorded 237 tackles, 7-1/2 sacks and five interceptions. Following his senior season in 2012, he was a second-team All-Southeastern Conference selection.

He’s got a legitimate chance at being a rookie starter for the Bears when they open their season against the Cincinnati Bengals Sunday, Sept. 8. When you combine his physical attributes with his on-field attitude and savvy, I don’t think there will be a huge drop-off from Urlacher’s level of play during his final couple of injury-riddled seasons.

I really like Bostic, and I think he’s a fun player to watch. As he continues to learn and mature in Chicago’s defense, it only stands to reason he’s going to get better and better. That could prove to be a source of some major headaches for opposing offenses when they play the Bears this year.

Keep an eye on him!

From the Aug. 28-Sept. 3, 2013, issue

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