3 things to know about Ohio State linebacker Tuf Borland

Joe Harrington and Chris Pugh

Three things to know about Ohio State senior linebacker Tuf Borland.

►Tuf Borland became the Buckeyes second three-time captain in team history. J.T. Barrett was the first.

“It’s very humbling,” Borland said in a conference call after the announcement. “I’m honored to be with a guy like J.T., who was an unbelievable leader here for a number of years.”

Borland has extensively played for the Buckeyes since starting as a redshirt freshman. In the 130 years of Ohio State football, only one Buckeyes player has been a three-time captain.

A plethora of Ohio State Buckeyes, including, linebacker Tuf Borland (32), defensive tackle Davon Hamilton (53), linebacker Malik Harrison (39) and defensive lineman Robert Landers (67) team up to stop Michigan Wolverines running back Hassan Haskins (25) during the fourth quarter of the NCAA football game at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Mich. on Saturday, Nov. 30, 2019.  [Adam Cairns/Dispatch]

►Why he's named Tuf Borland

Borland's father Kyle explained the name to the Columbus Dispatch in 2018.

Kyle Borland, Tuf's dad who was a former linebacker at Wisconsin, in the USFL and for the 1987 season with the NFL’s Los Angeles Rams, not only wanted his first son to have a last name to live up to and a first name to aspire to.

“When I first started with Riddell (the football helmet and sporting goods producer), there was a rep for us, a coworker, who was based in Montana, and his name was Tuff, T-U-F-F,” Borland said, referring to Tuff Toldness of Missoula. “I always kind of liked it, and I threw it out there as kind of a joke to my wife, and she said, ‘Oh, that’s pretty cool.’”

Ohio State Buckeyes linebacker Tuf Borland answers a question during Ohio State Buckeyes Media Day at the College Football Playoff Semifinal at the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl on Thursday, December 26, 2019 at the Camelback Inn in Scottsdale, Arizona.

►Got his start in Illinois 

Borland is from Illinois where he played for Bolingbrook High School and helped them advance to the playoffs for four straight season. He was a two-time All-State selection. 

He enrolled at Ohio State in 2016. 

On top of being a key member of the Buckeyes' defense, Borland graduated in December 2019 with a degree in human development and family science. 

He has been a mainstay on the Big Ten's Academic All-American team since joining the program. 

Ohio State Buckeyes defensive end Jonathon Cooper (0), linebacker Pete Werner (20) and linebacker Tuf Borland (32) combine for a sack on Penn State Nittany Lions quarterback Sean Clifford (14) during the first quarter of a NCAA football game at Beaver Stadium in University Park, Pa. on Saturday, Oct. 31, 2020.

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