Ohio State was already light on linebackers heading into the 2018 season, but the roster just got a little lighter with the news that Tuf Borland will miss the remainder of spring practice due to an Achilles tendon injury.
Urban Meyer spoke with the media today and said that despite the setback, they don’t anticipate Borland being forced to miss the upcoming season.
Borland saw considerable playing time in 2017, and showed potential to fill in the holes left by Jerome Baker and Chris Worley. The linebacker saw snaps in 14 games last season, claiming 58 total tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss (14 yards) and one sack for a 10-yard loss. It was the most playing time he’s seen since coming to Columbus as a red-shirt freshman, but in addition to earning Academic All-Big Ten Conference honors, his 12 tackles against Army were the most by an Ohio State freshman since Ryan Shazier claimed 15 against Penn State in 2011.
Originally designated as the punt team captain, after showing what he could do on defensive snaps in Week 3, his role changed a bit. He started in Week 4 as a fill-in for an injured Chris Worley, but went on to earn starts in nine of the final 11 games in 2017. Now, the heir-apparent for the middle linebacker position will have to sit back and wait for another chance to make his mark.
Borland’s injury means that Baron Browning and Keandre Jones are in the mix, along with Justin Hilliard and Pete Werner, for the middle and outside positions.