Tuf Borland has suffered an achilles injury. Here’s what it means for Ohio State’s linebacking corps.
Tuf Borland’s Injury Means Re-Shuffling At Ohio State Linebacker
According to a statement from Urban Meyer on Monday, Ohio State’s projected starter at middle linebacker is out for at least the rest of the spring because of an Achilles injury.
When asked if Tuf Borland would be in jeopardy for the start of the 2018 season, Meyer responded with, “they tell us no.”
As with any injury to a key member of the team, it now means that Ohio State must shuffle some things at linebacker to not only keep things moving ahead in spring, but in the event that Borland’s injury takes longer to heal than anticipated.
Not that Meyer is in that camp.
According to Ohio State’s head hauncho, “He’s a little bit like J.T. Barrett,” Meyer said. “You say he’s out for a while, and he’s not going to be out that long.”
The Ohio State defense really took off once Borland was inserted at middle linebacker just a couple of games in because of injury, and the thought was that he would continue to prowl the middle of the field in 2018 without skipping a beat.
His loss means that other will need to fill his spot, and then the shell game will ulttimately commence.
The first to get a crack to take Borland’s place appears to be former five-star recruit Justin Hilliard. He got the bulk of the first team snaps on Monday and, when healthy, has the potential to be a great player.
“He’s had some injuries, like tough, tough,” Meyer said. “But I can’t ask for anything more. He’s one of my favorite guys. He just goes as hard as he can. … So the light’s coming on and he’s doing pretty good.”
Fellow five-star recruit Baron Browning will also push Hilliard for playing time in the middle, with Malik Harrison and Keandre Jones the likely replacements for the departed Chris Worley and Jerome Baker. They have been staples with the first team defense early on in spring.
We’ll see if any further dominoes fall with the absence of Borland, or if there is some shuffling from the outside positions inward as things move forward.
Onward and upward as they say.
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