Some exciting news came out of the Ohio State football program after a rather tumultuous week in Columbus.
The Buckeyes confirmed that linebacker Tuf Borland became the team’s first senior to accept an invite to the 2021 Senior Bowl. The fifth-year player immediately became one of the biggest names to announce his decision to play in the well-known showcase.
But Borland won’t be alone when he travels to to the University of South Alabama in January. The Senior Bowl also announced that Buckeyes running back Trey Sermon will join the linebacker in accepting the invitation.
The highly respected game is set to take place after the season concludes on Jan. 30, 2021.
Tuf Borland, who has elevated himself as an NFL draft prospect with his improved play this season, becomes the first Ohio State player to officially accept an invite to the 2021 Senior Bowl. https://t.co/Dd1oVmaXYg
— Dan Hope (@Dan_Hope) December 1, 2020
Welcome RB @treyera from @OhioStateFB to the @Reeses Senior Bowl! Let’s get to work!
😤😤😤 #GoBuckeyes#TheDraftStartsInMOBILE #BestOfTheBest@JimNagy_SB @PaniniAmerica #RatedRookie pic.twitter.com/Ur8hwBJz5R
— Reese's Senior Bowl (@seniorbowl) December 1, 2020
Borland has quickly risen up NFL draft boards over the last few months, according to Dan Hope of Eleven Warriors. In four games in 2020, he’s tallied 19 total tackles and one sack.
Borland joined the Buckeyes in 2016. Originally ranked as a four-star recruit, the Bolingbrook, Illinois native chose Ohio State over Big Ten rivals Michigan State, Wisconsin and Penn State. Now Cincinnati coach, Luke Fickell was instrumental in getting him to choose to go to Columbus. He became a captain in his redshirt-sophomore season, racking up 67 tackles and two forced fumbles.
Listed at 6-foot-1 and 234 pounds, Borland definitely has the build to play at the next level. Although 2020 has made it tough to showcase his talents, he might be an early round pick in the 2021 draft.
Sermon also earned a coveted invitation to this year’s Senior Bowl. The dynamic running back transferred to Ohio State from Oklahoma in 2019 after a lackluster 10 games in Norman. His biggest year came during his sophomore season in 2018, where he erupted for 13 touchdowns and 1,128 yards from scrimmage.
Sermon somewhat found his place in Columbus, pairing nicely with Justin Fields through four games in 2020. The senior running back took 45 carries for 232 yards in the team’s opening few games. However, Master Teague claimed the team’s lead back position, leaving Sermon with more to prove.
News of the duo’s decisions comes at rather rough time for the Buckeyes. Ohio State is in the midst of dealing with a COVID-19 outbreak in their locker room. Several players and personnel, including head coach Ryan Day, tested positive for the virus.
Borland and Sermon hope to get back onto the field this weekend against the Michigan State Spartans.