June 18, 2014
The Badgers enjoyed their share of success in 2013-14 and now UWBadgers.com is honoring the best student-athletes, teams and performances of the year. Over the next few weeks, we'll unveil the best of the Badgers in five categories: Big Ten Medal of Honor (June 16), Athletes of the Year (June 17-21), Team Achievements of the Year (June 22-27), Games of the Year (June 28-July 5) and Freshmen of the Year (July 13-18).
Today we feature Male Athlete of the Year nominee Chris Borland of football.
• 2013-14 Year in Review
MADISON, Wis. -- After Gary Andersen referred to him as “the best linebacker in America” prior to the Badgers’ season opener, Chris Borland used his senior season as a platform to back up his coach’s words with plenty of action.
Borland piled up honors and awards nearly as quickly as he did tackles in 2013, earning a first-team All-America nod from the Football Writers Association of America and taking the title of Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year. The first Badgers linebacker to earn first-team All-America honors since Hal Faverty in 1951, Borland also collected second-team All-America laurels from the Associated Press, Athlon, CBS Sports and Sports Illustrated.
A consensus first-team All-Big Ten selection, Borland led the Badgers and ranked fourth in the conference with 111 total tackles. He piled up his third 100-plus tackle season despite being sidelined for an entire game -- and three quarters of another -- due to injury. He became just the fifth player in UW history to post three 100-tackle seasons, and the first since Pete Monty from 1994-96.
For his efforts, the Kettering, Ohio, native was named Butkus-Fitzgerald Big Ten Linebacker of the Year and a finalist for the Lott IMPACT Trophy.
Recognized as the 2014 UW Student-Athlete of the Year for his success on and off the field, the Kettering, Ohio, native graduated with a degree in history and led all UW student-athletes by logging 125 hours of community service through the Badgers Give Back program. Borland was also UW’s recipient of the Big Ten Outstanding Sportsmanship Award.
Borland finished his career ranked sixth all-time at Wisconsin with 420 total tackles and also ranks fifth in solo tackles (234), fourth in tackles for loss (50.0) and in a tie for eighth in sacks (17). He set the Big Ten record and ranks second in FBS history with 15 forced fumbles for his career.
Borland was named Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week five times during his career, matching Penn State linebacker Paul Posluszny for the most honors in conference history.