2021 NFL Draft Prospect Profile: LB Tuf Borland, Ohio State

This Ohio State linebacker is certainly "Tuf" enough to play the position, so what would he bring to the Giants defense if they drafted him?
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Height: 6'1"
Weight: 235 lbs.
Class: Senior
School: Ohio State

One of the more respected Ohio State linebackers in recent times, but it’s not necessarily due to statistics.

Borland is the second three-time captain in Buckeye history behind J.T. Barrett. He’s a true quarterback of the defense who processes the game very well. From 2017-2019, he’s had over 50 tackles in each season and has 18 tackles for a loss in his Ohio State career.

In March of 2018, Borland suffered a ruptured Achilles from which he’s battled back. That injury typically takes about a year to recover from, but Borland saw the football field again in 2018, playing 12 games.

His grit is one of the many reasons he was on the 2020 Butkus Award Preseason Watch List. He was Honorable All Big-10 in 2018 & 2019 while being named to the Academic All Big-10 from 2017 until now.

Borland was a four-star recruit, according to 247 Sports, and he was the 324th nationally ranked recruit in the 2016 class. He attended Bolingbrook High School in Illinois, the same high school as former Florida Gator (and Colts LB) Antonio Morrison and former Iowa defensive end Anthony Herron.

Borland is well respected in the locker room, by coaches, and by competitors. A coaching staff is going to fall in love with the intangibles of Tuf Borland.


The quintessential trait that should be associated with Tuf Borland is leadership. However, he also lives up to his first name because he’s incredibly tough and resilient. (Tuf is his middle name, Jarred is his actual first name).


He’s not the biggest or most powerful, but his ability to use his brain and mentally process the game of football typically puts him in a good position between the hashes. He’s a lean 235 pounds, and there may be questions about his ability to stack and shed NFL offensive lineman at a high level.

Borland has played through injury and set the example of toughness that a team captain should embody. His key & diagnose ability puts him in a good position after he reads his run keys and explodes towards the line of scrimmage; while doing this, he maintains active hands and does a good job scraping over the top of traffic and filling holes.


He does a good job meeting running backs at the line of scrimmage and giving them a solid pop. However, he is much more of a mentally sound player than a physically imposing one, or a player that will win with superior athletic ability. Incredibly competitive and physical toughness will make him an excellent special teams player in the NFL.

He’s not a liability as an athlete, but these traits are adequate. He is not a certainty of being a three-down player in the NFL and was often subbed out in passing situations--was more of an obvious run down type of player.

At the Reese’s Senior Bowl, he’ll have to prove that he can cover running backs and tight ends in drills one on one, while also showing the ability to stack & shed while putting himself in a position to make a tackle.

He did a solid job doing this in college, mostly because of his ability to anticipate and position himself - so he has to answer these questions with his play during these all-star events.

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