‘Killer intuition,’ throwback fashion have at all times pushed Tuf Borland


John Ivlow has practically twenty years as a highschool soccer coach and a profession as a legislation enforcement officer, too.

Ivlow is aware of robust. Ivlow coached Ohio State linebacker Tuf Borland at Bolingbrook. In all his days teaching soccer, in addition to enjoying for City Meyer at Colorado State, the fellows like Borland are extra exception than norm.

“Tuf is one in every of about three or 4 freshmen which have are available as freshman and made an impression on varsity,” Ivlow advised Lettermen Row. “Not simply come and apply and get in generally. However sufficiently big and bodily sufficient coming in to make an impression.”

Whilst dad, Kyle Borland, wasn’t so certain his 14-year-old son was prepared for the varsity remedy.

“We had been telling his dad: ‘He’s prepared.’ And he was like, ‘No, he’s not,’” Ivlow mentioned. “And I mentioned, ‘Yeah, he’s. We see all of them day lengthy, and he’s prepared.’ He was a 190-pound freshman coming in who’s constructed, is robust and might run simply in addition to the seniors.

“I’ve been right here about 19 years, and I can consider possibly 4 freshmen to contribute on the varsity stage — however not as a lot as Tuf did. Tuf rotated sequence, stuff like that. Different youngsters didn’t play as a lot, kick returner or clean-up time. Tuf, he’s a child that really acquired in there as a freshman. When it mattered, I assume you’ll say.”

Not a lot has modified since Borland’s arrival in Columbus for the Buckeyes. He owns appearances in all 28 profession video games and a staff captaincy as a part of Ohio State’s 2018 Rose Bowl season. This, regardless of myriad accidents — most notably an excruciating Achilles setback final spring.

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Ohio State linebacker Tuf Borland earned a job as a captain for the Buckeyes final season. (Birm/Lettermen Row)

“I’m very pleased with him, and the actual fact he was elected as captain, that’s simply great,” Ivlow mentioned. “I noticed some articles that mentioned some stuff, some issues on-line and his dad saved me within the loop. I knew the accidents he was battling. I knew he wasn’t enjoying at 100 p.c, and it’s horrible that stuff will get mentioned however that’s nature of the sport. The stuff mentioned about him on Twitter and from rabid followers, it was completely uncalled for. You’re solely getting half the story. I’m a police officer, been one 20-plus years and it’s like that. No one knew he was enjoying damage.

“I’m gonna inform you this, too: I acquired to play for City Meyer when he was at Colorado State, and when he mentioned, ‘Hey John, is that this good for us?’ Speaking about Tuf, I had no reservations sending him Tuf. I mentioned, ‘You’re getting a throwback, a soccer participant.’ Once more, it was simple. You knew it from Day One.”

Ivlow noticed it from Borland all all through his highschool profession, and never simply on protection. Even late on a Friday night time amidst the summer time camp grind, Ivlow recalled Borland main his Bolingbrook squad to a signature win as a senior — with an offensive play.

“On a regular basis he made performs, however notably one the place his senior yr, we’re moving into to play the No. 1 staff within the state, we had been 4-4, and we went in there and upset the No. 1 staff within the state,” Ivlow mentioned. “I nonetheless keep in mind, I simply knew we had been going to win the sport by our guys’ demeanor. That began with Tuf, that mentality that he had.

“And he caught a go from the tight finish spot, a deep nook route, and he needed to come again and dive to make the catch. And it acquired us in vary to kick the successful area objective. And we went in there and upset the No. 1, 8-Zero staff.”

Ivlow boiled down what Borland has proven on the soccer area so lengthy, all that that has transcended all of the coveted measurables.

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Ohio State linebacker Tuf Borland battled accidents final season with the Buckeyes. (Birm/Lettermen Row)

“I really like soccer gamers. Give me the soccer participant versus that 4.Four man who can soar and all that,” he mentioned. “I would like soccer gamers, that’s the way you win. You win with good soccer gamers, a minimum of that’s how it’s for me in highschool. I’ll take 20 good soccer gamers over 5 superstars any day.”

Only a few months in the past, Borland returned house to Bolingbrook and even logged some exercises in his outdated weight room. Beneficial for the upcoming crop, proper?

“That’s the factor, he works out at like 5 a.m., so no person noticed him,” Ivlow mentioned. “However he did cease in later within the day, as a result of that’s break of day. He’s in there at 5 a.m., often accomplished at 6 — that’s what the nice ones do. They don’t keep up until Four a.m. on the tavern or enjoying Fortnite or regardless of the hell youngsters are enjoying nowadays. The nice ones deal with their our bodies and know what they need.

“That’s Tuf. They put all their vitality into reaching that objective.”

Even, Ivlow defined, if that vitality doesn’t current itself for Borland anyplace besides the soccer area.

“He’s a really quiet, shy, humble child and he’s not a loudmouth,” Ivlow mentioned. “You set him in a room with you, sit on the desk with him, he won’t say two phrases, however he’s acquired that swap all the nice ones have.

“When he will get on the soccer area, he turns into simply an evil, evil particular person. Possibly evil isn’t the very best phrase — a unique particular person. A Jekyl-Hyde sort factor. They get in that zone. Tuf has that very same mentality. Numerous our nice ones do. ‘No, you’re not beating me, I’m more durable than you. That’s the best way it’s.’

“The good ones all have that, that killer intuition. Tuf has that.”


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