Interview: 2021 Florida Commit, OLB/ATH Chief Borders

Brian Smith

Sometimes, football players are just names on jerseys to the fans. 

Well, if anyone meets or speaks with Florida’s newest class of 2021 commitment, that individual will know more than a (cool) name on the back of a Gators’ jersey.

Some players possess a specific charisma; An eye-opening personality that’s going to excite people. Meet Chief Borders (outside linebacker, 6-3, 230, McEachern HS - Powder Springs, GA). An outgoing and excitable personality, Borders still has his priorities.

“Of course, winning state is No. 1,” Borders stated of his goals. “Trying to get all A’s, in AP [advanced placement] classes, yes sir!” 

That’s a pretty good standard to live by. When asked about what he’s trying to do to prepare his body, Borders was quick to respond.

“I work out seven days a week. I lift. I go run. I go run the hill on the weekend. Got to keep my body right, you know?”

Over the years, many recruits say similar things. Then again, very few are as excited about staying physically fit as this young man. Words simply do not provide Borders justice or the validity within his voice.

“I grind,” Borders said with confidence. While ‘grinding’ is a common term used by many types of athletes, working out seven days a week certainly deserves praise. With that, Borders placed an increase in weight for his goal between now and next season. “My weight goal for the start of 2020 season: 6-4, 242 lbs.”

As for a positional fit, Borders plays outside linebacker for McEachern, but he also plays some tight end as well. Which one will he play for the Florida Gators?

“Outside linebacker. I’m going to play some tight end, too. All over the field really. I’m an athlete," Borders said. 

At McEachern, Borders' outside linebacker acts as a wide-9 technique on most occasions, where he sets the edge against the run and rushes the passer. Therefore, his best positional fit in Florida's defense is the BUCK pass-rushing defensive end position, where Borders will have his hand in the dirt and act as a standing rusher.

Usually, when players state that they'll play multiple positions they should be taken with a grain of salt. With Borders type of attitude, however, I believe it’s possible. Borders is a player that wants to be the best. You cannot teach that type of attitude. 

Perhaps that’s why he was coveted by so many programs. So which schools did Florida beat out?

“Definitely LSU,” Borders said emphatically. “Alabama, Georgia was in there for a little bit. Clemson, South Carolina, Nebraska a little bit. Really that’s about it.”

With every recruitment, there’s an interesting side note. Borders is not an exception. Originally from Chicago, Borders will soon be moving further south to Florida, despite a strong push from Tuscaloosa, AL.

“[Alabama head] coach [Nick] Saban was on the phone with my dad, saying he wanted his favorite recruit to come to the LSU game.” Obviously, Borders visited Florida for the Vanderbilt game instead. Nothing against the Commodores, but turning down the Alabama-LSU game displayed his keen interest in the Gators.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Borders is one of the coolest recruits I’ve ever spoken with. A well-spoken and interesting personality, the type of player Gator fans will enjoy watching. You can't go wrong with an extremely talented player and the personality and heart to match. Borders is a great pickup for Florida!

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