Posted-November 26th, 2013 8:49 pm
MADISON, Wis. – Senior linebacker Chris Borland is the unquestioned leader of the Badgers’ defense. His 92 tackles and 8.0 tackles for loss pace a defense that has been suffocating opposing teams all season.
Off the field, Borland also sets the pace for the entire Wisconsin athletic department, leading all student-athletes by volunteering more than 125 community service hours since May.
That rare combination of on the field excellence and dedication to his community has earned Borland the honor of being named a finalist for the Lott IMPACT Trophy. The Lott Trophy bills itself as “the only college football award where character counts.” It recognizes student-athletes on the defensive side of the ball who embody the IMPACT® acronym; Integrity, Maturity, Performance, Academics, Community and Tenacity.
Borland spearheads a Wisconsin defense that has not allowed a touchdown in six of its 11 games and ranks fifth in the country, allowing just 13.4 points per game. In addition to his tackles and TFL numbers, the Ohio native also has 4.0 quarterback sacks, two fumble recoveries and a forced fumble.
For his career, Borland is one of just six players in Wisconsin history with 400 tackles. He ranks second among active FBS players with 400 career tackles and fifth with 49.5 tackles for loss. Last week he tied the Big Ten record by forcing his 14th career fumble. Borland also recovered two fumbles in the Badgers’ win at Minnesota and now ranks second in UW history with eight fumble recoveries.
A fifth-year senior, Borland will graduate in December with a degree in history. A frequent visitor to the American Family Children’s Hospital, Borland also makes weekly trips to a local elementary school on Thursday mornings to help as teacher’s assistant. He also helped establish a chapter of Uplifting Athletes, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to raising money and awareness for rare diseases, on the UW campus and was heavily involved in the Badgers’ Make A Wish campaign that included a bedroom makeover for Darien Moran, a young fan battling Langerhans cell histiocytosis x.
This is the third time in the 10-year history of the award that a Wisconsin player has been a finalist for the Lott IMPACT Trophy. Borland joins Jim Leonhard, a finalist in 2004, and J.J. Watt, the award’s winner in 2010. Wisconsin could become the first school to win the award twice.
Borland is one of four finalists that will head to Newport Beach, Calif., for the Lott IMPACT Trophy award ceremony on Dec. 8. He will be joined by UCLA linebacker Anthony Barr, USC defensive end Devon Kennard and Iowa linebacker James Morris. The ceremony will be televised live by FOX Sports starting at 9 p.m. CT.