You expect to see huge hits from Brian Urlacher. You expect to see them from college linebackers and occasionally even from standout secondary players at the high school level.
You don't expect to see them from fifth-graders. Evidently no one told that to 11-year-old Stephen Lubischer -- a 5-foot-nothing, 90-pound defensive back for a New Jersey youth league team -- because he landed one of the biggest hits we've seen at any level all season in a recent pee wee game.
As you can see above, Lubischer didn't just make a tackle, he made sure that he finished his tackle, completely upending the ball carrier and driving him into the turf. He used remarkably quick reflexes, too, rushing in from the right wing to make contact on the fly, and doing so with a sense of leverage that you just can't teach.
All of those factors would seem to single out Lubischer for future success on the defensive side of the ball ... if he wants to keep playing football. According to Brian Klatsky, Lubischer's longtime AAU basketball coach, the elementary schooler is the son of Steve Lubischer, a former star linebacker at Boston College who also spent a season with the NFL's Dolphins in 1987.
"He's an ordinary looking kid, but probably the best athlete we have seen in New Jersey for this age group," Klatsky, whose third-grade boys basketball squad finished in the AAU's top 10 in 2009, told Prep Rally in an email.
Whether or not the younger Lubischer reaches heights that are anywhere near his father's stratosphere remains to be seen, but one thing is certain: He can definitely tackle like his old man.
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- Brian Urlacher