Illini First to Offer

2016 standout linebacker Tuf Borland picked up his first offer last weekend.

CHAMPAIGN - Here's an interesting connection that could help Illinois down the road.

Current Illini linebackers coach Al Seamonson played with a linebacker named Kyle Borland at Wisconsin back in the 80s. Borland went on to play a season in the NFL and has a rising star in son Tuf.

Tuf Borland is a 2016 linebacker from Bolingbrook, Ill., where Aaron Bailey recently starred.

Just a sophomore, Tuf is 6-foot-1, 200 pounds and picked up his first offer from Illinois during his visit to Champaign last weekend.

Tuf did the usual campus tour and sat with 2015 linebackers C.J. Stalker and Nick Conner during the Illinois-Iowa basketball game.

"This visit was nice," Tuf said. "Going to a basketball game like that, it was a great atmosphere. It's kind of like a family around there."

Of course Seamonson is active in Tuf's recruitment, but inside linebackers coach Mike Ward has been the primary guy on staff keeping in touch.

"Lately I've been talking a lot to Coach Ward," Tuf said. "We got to sit in on a defensive meeting. I just sat around with a bunch a great linebackers. It was a good time, a good experience. Definitely learned a lot, learned Coach Ward's terminology and things like that."

Things are just taking off for Tuf. He's still gathering interest from schools like Wisconsin and Purdue. Others are sure to get involved. But for the now, the Illini are his first and only offer.

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