Elite teams like Ohio State do not rebuild, they reload.
It appears the linebacker position will be in good hands for the foreseeable future after the recent performances of sophomore Malik Harrison and redshirt freshman Tuf Borland. Both players earned a start this week against No. 12 Michigan State after it was announced that Dante Booker and Jerome Baker would be unavailable due to injury.
During the game Harrison had six tackles, a sack and a pass deflection. Meanwhile, Borland led the team in tackles with 11 and also compiled a sack.
The duo also played a key role in stopping Michigan State’s running attack in a dominating 48-3 win.
In fact, the Buckeyes completely destroyed Michigan State’s running game. Ohio State held them to 64 yards on the day and 1.9 yards per rush.
It has been reported that Urban Meyer is still considering keeping Borland at middle linebacker, which would move senior Chris Worley to outside linebacker. Borland has shined when he has started this year. The freshman compiled a team leading 12 tackles against an Army team that is known for a run heavy offense.
Although it is expected that Baker and Booker will return as starters once healthy, the play of Harrison and Borland will still be important going forward. Booker and Chris Worley are both seniors while Jerome Baker has the option to leave for the NFL.
Regardless, if Borland or Harrison start any games the rest of the year, they will be vital in the upcoming seasons for the Silver Bullets.
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