Christopher Borland (born December 26, 1990) is a former American football linebacker who played for the San Francisco 49ers of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Wisconsin, and was drafted by the 49ers in the third round of the 2014 NFL Draft. He is one of the first NFL players to retire from professional football early in his career due to concerns of mid-term brain damage inherent to the sport.
Borland with the Wisconsin Badgers in 2013
|Born:||December 26, 1990|
|Height:||5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)|
|Weight:||248 lb (112 kg)|
|High school:||Archbishop Alter|
|NFL Draft:||2014 / Round: 3 / Pick: 77|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics|
Borland attended Archbishop Alter High School in Kettering, Ohio, where he was first-team All-state and All-conference player of the year. He was the team captain and MVP. He was a letterman in football, track, basketball and tennis. As a senior, he had 72 tackles, one interception, one forced fumble and two fumble recoveries on defense, and rushed for 1,230 yards and 19 touchdowns on offense.
In track & field, he was one of the state's top performers in the shot put. He placed fifth at the state meet in the shot put as a junior. At the 2008 Fairmont Firebird Invitational, he recorded a PR of 11.97 seconds in the 100 meters. He got a top-throw of 41.05 meters in the discus at the 2008 OHSAA District T&F Championships. He was the runner-up to the state title in the shot put event at the 2009 OHSAA District T&F Championships, recording a career-best throw of 18.62 metres (61.1 ft).
|Name||Hometown||High school / college||Height||Weight||40‡||Commit date|
|Kettering, OH||Archbishop Alter HS||6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)||215 lb (98 kg)||4.65||Jun 24, 2008|
|Recruiting star ratings: Scout: Rivals: 247Sports: N/A ESPN grade: 74|
|Overall recruiting rankings: Scout: 55 (MLB) Rivals: NR ESPN: 134 (ATH)|
Borland played in 13 games, starting six. He led the team with five forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries. He finished third on the team in tackles-for-loss (10.5) and sacks (5.0) and fifth in tackles (54). Borland also returned six kickoffs for 106 yards and made three extra points in the game against Hawaii. Borland was named the Big Ten's Freshman of the Year in 2009. He was also named to the FWAA Freshman All-American team.
Borland played and started two games. He was injured in the second game of the season and missed the rest of the year with a shoulder injury. He was granted an injury redshirt for that season.
Before the season, Borland was on the watchlist for the Butkus Award which is awarded to the nations best linebacker. He was also listed on the preseason watchlists for All-Big Ten, first-team by Phil Steele and second-team by Athlon.
On December 8, 2011, Borland was named Third Team All-American by Yahoo Sports. His teammate Russell Wilson joined him on the Third Team while Montee Ball was named to the First Team and offensive linemen Peter Konz and Kevin Zeitler were named to the Second Team.
Borland set a season high with 13 tackles in the 2012 Big Ten Football Championship Game against Nebraska. He recorded a team-high 9 tackles in the 2013 Rose Bowl against Stanford. Following the season, Borland was named first-team All-Big Ten by the coaches and honorable mention by the media.
Borland was named to the preseason watchlists for the Chuck Bednarik Award, Bronko Nagurski Trophy, Dick Butkus Award, Lombardi Award and Lott IMPACT Trophy. Halfway through the 2013 season ESPN ranked Chris Borland the #4 Defensive MVP.
On November 23, Borland tied the FBS career forced fumble record, with his 14th, against Minnesota. Also in late November, he was named one of four finalists for the Lott IMPACT Trophy. Other finalists include Anthony Barr (UCLA linebacker), Devon Kennard (USC defensive end) and James Morris (Iowa linebacker).
On December 3, 2013, Borland was named Big Ten Nagurski-Woodson Defensive Player of the Year Borland is the fifth Wisconsin player to be named Defensive Player of the Year, joining Troy Vincent (1991), Tom Burke (1998), Jamar Fletcher (2000) and Erasmus James (2004). Borland was also named the Big Ten's Butkus-Fitzgerald Linebacker of the Year.
|Ht||Wt||Arm length||Hand size||40-yard dash||10-yd split||20-yd split||20-ss||3-cone||Vert jump||Broad||BP||Wonderlic|
|5 ft 11.75 in
|29 1⁄4 in
|9 7⁄8 in
|4.83 s||1.65 s||2.70 s||4.26 s||6.83 s||37 in
|9 ft 11 in
|All values from NFL Combine Wonderlic|
San Francisco 49ersEdit
Borland was selected with the 13th pick of the 3rd round (77th overall) of the 2014 NFL Draft by the San Francisco 49ers. Throughout training camp and preseason, he competed against 49ers veteran Michael Wilhoite for a starting inside linebacker position left absent by the injured NaVorro Bowman.
In the last preseason game against the Houston Texans, Borland led the defense in tackles (6) and returned an interception 34 yards for a touchdown.
Borland got his first career start in Week 7 against the Denver Broncos after the 49ers All-Pro ILB Patrick Willis injured his toe against the St. Louis Rams during week six. He led the 49ers defense with eight tackles, one tackle for loss and he recorded his first career sack against Peyton Manning; ultimately the 49ers were defeated 42–17. In his second start filling in for Willis, he recorded 18 tackles, 15 solo and three tackles for loss against the St. Louis Rams. His 18 tackles were the most tackles for a single player league-wide and included a "suplex-like" tackle of running back Tre Mason.
In a week 10 matchup against the New Orleans Saints, Borland recovered an overtime fumble that led the 49ers to a 27–24 victory. During the game, he recorded 17 tackles and he received his first ever NFL award, which was Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Week. In week 11 he was named NFC Defensive Player of the Week for his performance against the Eli Manning-led New York Giants where he was the first rookie linebacker in franchise history to get two interceptions in one game. He also led the team in tackles with 13 and had three passes defended. Borland was selected as the NFL's Defensive Rookie of the Month for November. On December 20, 2014, Borland was placed on season ending IR with an ankle injury. He finished his rookie season with 108 tackles, 1 sack, and 2 interceptions in only starting 8 games.
On March 16, 2015, Borland announced his retirement from the NFL citing concern of head trauma. He received a $617,436 signing bonus when he inked a four-year rookie deal with the 49ers coming out of college but would be returning approximately three-quarters of this bonus to the team, or about $463,077.
|2014||San Francisco 49ers||14||8||107||84||23||1.0||2||12||6.0||12||0||0||1||5||–|
Awards and achievementsEdit
- Defensive Rookie of the Month (November 2014)
- NFC Defensive Player of the Week (Week 11, 2014)
- Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Week (Weeks 10 & 11, 2014)
- First-team All-America Team – FWAA (2013)
- 3× First-team All-Big Ten (2011, 2012, 2013)
- Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year (2013)
- Big Ten Linebacker of the Year (2013)
- Third Team All-American – Yahoo Sports (2011)
- Big Ten Freshman of the Year (2009)
- FWAA Freshman All-America Team (2009)
- Honorable Mention All-Big Ten (2009)
- 3× Big Ten Champion (2010, 2011, 2012)
- Division I FBS most fumbles forced, career (14)
- 4× Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week (Weeks 10 & 12 – 2011, Week 4 – 2012, Week 11 2013)
- Big Ten Conference Outstanding Sportsmanship Award (2014)
- UW Student-Athlete of the Year (2014)
Life after footballEdit
Borland attended the premier of GridIron Gladiators movie directed by Todd Trigsted April 19, 2015 in Portland, Oregon  Borland has been outspoken about his decision to retire. He has received both praise and criticism for his assertions in many interviews, including one with CBS News in which he stated that he believes football as a whole to be "inherently dangerous".
In a December 2015 Frontline interview, Borland said, "Last year the NFL commissioned actuaries to estimate how many NFL veterans would have brain damage. And the number they came up with was 3 out of 10. So, if I turn on a game, and a third of the guys will have brain damage in life, I just, I can't really support that. And, I don't really watch football anymore. If it's on, I may peek at it, but ..." He shook his head as the video faded.
- "Chris Borland". ESPN.com.
- Michael Kirk; Mike Wiser; Jim Gilmore (December 21, 2015). "How Afraid Should the NFL be of Chris Borland?". FRONTLINE. Retrieved January 16, 2019.
- "Chris Borland Bio – UWBadgers.com – The Official Athletic Site of the Wisconsin Badgers". Archived from the original on October 24, 2014.
- "Fairmont Firebird Invitational". Ohio MileSplit.
- "T.J. Edwards named Freshman All-American". University of Wisconsin.
- "Yahoo Sports All-America Team". Yahoo Sports.
- "On The Mark: Midseason review – ESPN". Espn.go.com. October 14, 2013. Retrieved February 25, 2014.
- "Borland a finalist for Lott IMPACT Trophy – UWBadgers.com – The Official Athletic Site of the Wisconsin Badgers". UWBadgers.com. November 26, 2013. Retrieved February 25, 2014.
- "Borland named Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year". Archived from the original on December 4, 2013. Retrieved December 4, 2013.
- "Borland named First-Team All-American". uwbadgers.com. Archived from the original on December 28, 2013. Retrieved December 27, 2013.
- "Chris Borland | Wisconsin, ILB : 2014 NFL Draft Scout Player Profile". Nfldraftscout.com. September 21, 2006. Retrieved February 25, 2014.
- "2014 NFL Combine Wonderlic Scores".
- "49ers add linebacker depth, draft Borland – Yahoo Sports". Sports.yahoo.com. May 9, 2014. Retrieved May 14, 2014.
- "NFL Draft 2014: Chris Borland joins San Francisco 49ers, handful of Wisconsin linebackers in NFL – Bucky's 5th Quarter". Buckys5thquarter.com. Retrieved May 14, 2014.
- NFL (May 9, 2014). "49ers add linebacker depth, draft Borland - NFL - SI.com". Sportsillustrated.cnn.com. Retrieved May 14, 2014.
- "San Francisco 49ers News — Niner Insider Blog » Fangio not ready to call Wilhoite vs. Borland". San Francisco 49ers News — Niner Insider Blog.
- "Rookie LB Chris Borland returns pick for TD, 49ers beat Texans 40–13". Fox News.
- "San Francisco rookie LB Chris Borland steps in for Patrick Willis against Broncos". Fox News.
- "49ers notebook: Aldon Smith's suspension might be reduced, report says".
- Peter Panacy. "Rookie Linebacker Chris Borland Making Strides in 49ers Defense". Bleacher Report.
- "San Francisco 49ers' Chris Borland Body Slams Tre Mason".
- "Chris Borland named NFL Pepsi Rookie of the Week". Niners Nation. Retrieved March 17, 2015.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on November 29, 2014. Retrieved November 19, 2014.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- "Chris Borland Named NFL Defensive Rookie of the Month for November". 49ers.com. Archived from the original on April 3, 2015. Retrieved March 17, 2015.
- "Chris Borland placed on San Francisco 49ers' I.R." www.nfl.com. NFL.
- "Chris Borland". www.nfl.com. NFL. Retrieved February 16, 2015.
- Hanzus, Dan (March 16, 2015). "San Francisco 49ers' Chris Borland retiring from NFL". NFL.com. Retrieved March 16, 2015.
- "Chris Borland says he's returning most of signing bonus to 49ers".
- "Borland, Whitehouse receive Big Ten Outstanding Sportsmanship Award – UWBadgers.com – The Official Athletic Site of the Wisconsin Badgers".
- "Special Event – April 19, 2015". www.gridirongladiatorsmovie.com.
- Strachan, Maxwell (March 19, 2015). "NFL Rookie Chris Borland Explains His Decision To Retire: 'The Game Is Inherently Dangerous'". www.huffingtonpost.com. The Huffington Post. Retrieved September 30, 2015.
- Amid 'Concussion' coverage, Frontline documents Chris Borland's departure from football La Crosse Tribune, Todd Milewski (The Capital Times), December 27, 2015.