Malik Harrison, Tuf Borland Named To Butkus Award Watch List

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Cooper's picture

Alright.... who’s gonna say it?

This is definitely where I parked my car.

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buckeye phi's picture

I am.  And stop calling me Shirley!

Good judgement comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgement. - Will Rogers

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Weave77's picture

Tuf Borland winning the Butkus Award would be just about the ultimate redemption story.

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Buckeye06's picture

I mean, if he isn't made to play in space he can be effective. As a MLB, his goal is to make plays inside the tackle box and basically only inside the tackle box.  

Let's see how he looks in the new scheme which should allow him to not play on the LOS 80% of his snaps leaving huge voids in the middle of the field

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RBurgundy4's picture

I agree with your first sentence. He can be effective in a box. But we're talking about the best LB in the nation award here, not simply serviceable in certain situations. This is shocking.

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Buckeye06's picture

McMillan was a great LB at OSU, and primarily played inside the box.  He was a finalist for the award.

I'm not comparing the two, but MLBs should get recognition for what they do inside the scrums

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seltsaC's picture

Raekwon was 100x the athlete Borland will ever be and he also made great plays out in space.

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Buckeye06's picture

I mean he was a very good player, but he made limited plays in space.  Borland has made limited plays in space.

As I said I'm not comparing the two, but MLBs job is just not as flashy as OLBs.  They are usually slower and stockier players who don't defend slot guys in space.  

I for one hope that if he wins the starting job, he has 120 tackles and is a finalist; that would likely mean OSU is in prime position to have a top 10 defense and win the B1G

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mmp15f's picture

McMillan was a great LB at OSU, and primarily played inside the box.  He was a finalist for the award

 

No one implied that an inside linebacker couldn't be named a Butkus finalist/winner (the last three Butkus winners have all been inside linebackers, actually). McMillan was named a Butkus finalist because his stats and performance warranted it, and that can't be said for Borland.

I'm not comparing the two, but MLBs should get recognition for what they do inside the scrums

First of all, McMillan was far better than Borland between the tackles. I know you say you're not comparing them, but you referenced McMillan in another comment also, so it definitely seems like you're trying to draw some sort of comparison between the two. Regardless, that isn't the only criteria that matters.

Inside linebackers need to be able to do more than just stuff inside runs; the game is changing and they have to be much more versatile nowadays. They have to be able to move from sideline-to-sideline and make plays in space because not many teams run offenses centered around 21/22 personnel sets and standard inside run plays.

More and more teams are transitioning to different variations of the spread, which involves more attacking the sidelines/getting the ball outside, so it's pointless to have a Mike LB who isn't able to defend/make plays against these offenses.

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buckzilla1's picture

He can be effective in a box. 

But the first thing is, " you gotta open that box"

Hey Cancer! This ass kicking is brought to you by the Guernsey county mafia. Give it Hell 84!

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scooby22's picture

I mean, if he isn't made to play in space he can be effective

SHHHH!!!!!! we don't want this to get out or other B1G teams may try to exploit it!!!!  no worries i guess ... pete "jets" werner has his back ...

" ... poor man wanna be rich, rich man wanna be king, and a king ain't satisfied 'til he rules everything ..." - The Boss

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DrSpaceman's picture

If Harrison can sustain the level of play we saw out of him during the Michigan game last year, he should have a really fantastic year.

"Medicine is not a science" - Leo Spaceman

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Homey1970's picture

I saw my name on that list.  Sweet!

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DrSpaceman's picture

Congrats Homey1970! What an honor!

"Medicine is not a science" - Leo Spaceman

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buckeye phi's picture

I'm thinking we should wait and see how well the new defensive coaches turn things around from last year before getting too up - or too down - on any of our linebackers. 

I believe some of us may be underestimating the athleticism of some of our guys based on the system they were in last season - not so much on their actual athleticism. 

Look at Pete Werner, for instance.  According to something I heard Zach Boren saying a few weeks ago, he is far more athletic than he was able to demonstrate last year.  While he's not on the Butkus list, Boren expects Werner to thrive in the new system - that is assuming he's not taken off the field too often in lieu of the "Bullet". 

Depending on the situation, the Bullet could mean we're playing without one of our more traditional LBs fairly frequently -

Good judgement comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgement. - Will Rogers

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Buckeye06's picture

This is what i agree with.  Maybe he's allowed to play in a phone booth with the system we run now.  He was recruited to OSU to be a MLB, let him be a MLB

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tcm1968's picture

Tuf is all heart. I think we have a Championship caliber defense if someone other than him his playing MLB by seasons end. He's simply not fast enough to play with the best teams in the country..

Having said that.... important to remember you get put on the watch list for 5 reasons... The one we would all point out as being the one that should exclude him ( the actual LB play criteria #5 ) is only one of 5 criteria. He's pretty solid for the other 4 and I'm guessing that's how he ended up on the list.

1. toughness (playing through pain with a warrior mentality)

2.  on-field leadership (intimidating presence and respected tone-setter)

3. competitiveness (passion, intensity and relentless effort)

4. football character (work ethic, drive and determination)

5. linebacking skills (instincts, tackling, striking, balance, knee bend, shedding, cover skills, blitzing).

Go Bucks!

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Dstacify's picture

It's not like Tuf is incapable of playing at a high level (we've seen him do it before). And I haven't seen anything from Browning yet that gives me the impression he'd be an upgrade from Borland (in fact Browning struggled so much against Oregon St last year that the coaches IMO panicked and rushed Tuf back from his Achilles injury for the following week). I'm hearing good things about Mitchell but we also haven't seen him in live action yet. Where does that leave us if he turns out to be worse than Borland?

11 Strong.

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tcm1968's picture

He's capable of playing at a high level in certain situations against certain teams ( and the majority of the time that's run oriented stuff). That's not good enough for a championship caliber defense.

He's not fast enough. I don't pretend to know if someone else would be better right now I just know that if we matched up against a playoff team  later this year the opposing OC would have enough weapons on offense to isolate those players against Borland in pass coverage and he'd lose the batle every time.. 

The "fix" is to have him on the sidelines on obvious passing downs but if someone else doesn't step up that's just another problem..

My point is the same as it was last season.. if the goal is to get into the playoffs and win the thing it doesn't start with Tuf at MLB.. you give gusy with better speed all the snaps in the world early in the season and hope someone rises to the challenge... you can always go back to Tuf as a band-aid. There's no upside to him starting because he'll never be the right guy against Bama, Clemson, Oklahoma or Georgia..

Go Bucks!

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stuckupnorth's picture

This list is a very generalized list. It takes Two linebackers from a prestigious school and says your it. Alabama has 3 Miami 2 Michigan a couple so on and so on. Next year two more buckeyes will be on it as well. 

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Dstacify's picture

If Borland is a Butkus finalist at the end of the year all I can say is Al Washington will deserve a fucking raise if that happens.

11 Strong.

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buckbornbred's picture

Borland won't even be starting by season's end.

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RunEddieRun1983's picture

I think we're all somewhat detractors of Borland, but shit... What if? Wouldn't that be the ultimate comeback?

Urban Meyer left an incredible legacy. 12/4/18 Ryan Day begins his.

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