Incoming junior Bolligbrook (Ill.) linebacker Tuf Borland has been hearing from much of the Big Ten lately, including Michigan. After already visiting Ann Arbor once this year, Borland, a 6’2”, 220 lb. four-star prospect, recently made the trek back up to the mitten. This time, it was for the Barbecue at the Big House recruiting event.
While on his unofficial visit, Borland participated in an innovative, challenge-themed event that would take six groups of prospects all across campus chasing clues and posting pictures onto their Twitter accounts. The Michigan coaching staff dubbed this event ‘The A-Maize-Ing Race’, drawing its title from the television show namesake.
“We got there around 10 o’clock and we just talked for a little bit, then we got the campus tour after that,” said Borland. “It was kind of cool because they turned it into a little bit of a game and a competition between all of the athletes there.”
Feeding on the competitive nature of the athletes present, this challenge worked up quite a sweat, and an appetite, for many in attendance. This made the transition into the barbecue portion of the day a logical choice.
“Then we went back for lunch and went on the field after that,” said Borland. “We had a good time. It was definitely a good experience for me, a positive experience for me.”
Although Borland has visited Michigan once before this year, his most recent stay allowed for him to take in some aspects of the Wolverines’ campus that prior trips did not.
“Well before I never got to walk around the campus,” said Borland. “This time with the competition and games we were able to see all the different areas of the campus and how everything was working. We got to see everything and it was all within walking distance. It’s a short walk from place to place.”
With Borland focusing on the landscape and set-up of Michigan’s campus, it shows that he is serious regarding his interest in the Maize and Blue. A conversation Borland had with UM defensive coordinator and linebacker coach Greg Mattison shows that this interest is mutual.
“Actually at the end coach Mattison came up to me and said you’re really close to an offer,” said Borland. “That was exciting to hear. They said they’re really excited for having me up and they’re looking forward to the future and seeing us grow and get better and improve.”
Out of all the activity that is the Barbecue at the Big House, Borland favored the personal time he spent communicating with the Michigan coaches. Each coach took the time to talk with Borland while at the BBQ, and these meetings went a long ways with him.
“Talking with all the coaches and being able to walk around on the field after lunch,” said Borland of his favorite aspect of the BBQ. “I talked to coach Mattison a lot, the defensive coordinator, and I talked to head coach [Brady] Hoke some. They did a really good job of circulating people around and getting everybody to talk to everybody.”
Since the start of his high school season is fast approaching, Borland is going to slow down his recruiting calendar for the time being. Borland is unsure of when his next visit to UM will come, but on account of the BBQ’s success, it shouldn’t be a long wait to find out.
“I’m sure there will be another one in the future.”
Borland has ‘Positive Experience’ at U-M BBQ
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