Borland named rookie of November

49ers rookie linebacker Chris Borland can add another award to his growing collection. He was named NFL Defensive Rookie of the Month for November.

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Rookie linebacker Chris Borland's list of accolades continues to grow.

The NFL announced Thursday Patrick Willis' fill in was named the league's defensive rookie of the month, to add to his two defensive rookie of the week and defensive player of the week awards.

Borland led the NFL with 70 tackles in November playing in Willis "mike" linebacker position after Willis elected to have season-ending toe surgery. Borland has helped anchor the league's fourth-ranked defense that's allowing 307 yards per game and is on the short list for defensive rookie of the year.

"Borland’s come in there, done some stuff you really can’t teach. I think he’s going to be a special player down the road," veteran defensive lineman Justin Smith said this week.

Sunday's game against the Raiders will be Borland's seventh start of the season. He's Pro Football Focus' third-ranked inside linebacker, behind New England's Dont'a Hightower and Carolina's Luke Kuechly, who have both played roughly twice Borland's snaps. He's tied for first among inside linebackers with two interceptions, both coming in Nov. 16's win over the New York Giants.

"I know he’s got some fans and he’s got family and lots of brothers and people back in Dayton, Ohio, that admire him, but I feel like I’m at least tied for first in the Chris Borland fan club," 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh said a day later. "And I felt that way when we were evaluating him and drafting him and since he’s been here."

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