Chris Borland All-Decade Team photo

Chris Borland directs the UW defense during the Badgers' victory at Minnesota in 2013. Borland was named to the Big Ten Network's All-Decade Team on Monday. 

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One of the best linebackers in Badgers history earned another honor Monday.

Chris Borland was named one of the three linebackers for the Big Ten Network’s All-Decade team. Iowa product and current Denver Bronco Josey Jewell and Michigan alum and current Pittsburgh Steeler Devin Bush were the other linebackers selected to the first team. UW's T.J. Watt was a second-team pick. 

Borland’s career at the University of Wisconsin started with a bang by earning Big Ten Conference freshman of the year accolades, but a shoulder injury derailed his sophomore campaign and limited him to just two games.

He built a reputation as a hard hitter and a tackling machine last three years on the field for the Badgers. He tallied 143, 104 and 112 tackles in those years, respectively, and his career total of 420 tackles is sixth-most in program history. Borland is fourth in UW history with 50 tackles for loss, and was an All-Big Ten selection four times, including two first-team nods.

His 15 forced fumbles are a conference record, and when he left college he was tied for the conference record with five defensive player of the week awards.

Borland’s senior year of 2013 was arguably his best, as he won the conference’s defensive player of the year and linebacker of the year awards en route to a first-team All-American selection by the Football Writers Association of America.

“He was really unblockable,” former Ohio State coach and current Big Ten Network analyst Urban Meyer said. “He was a guy that you have a guy accounting for him, but he would beat blocks so easily.”

The Kettering, Ohio, product was lightly recruited coming out of high school, but made his mark quickly on the Badgers. He was also a valued member of the special teams units at UW.

He was drafted in the third round of the 2014 NFL Draft by the San Francisco 49ers, but played just one pro season. After a rookie year in which he posted 102 tackles, he retired from football due to concerns of repetitive head trauma.

The BTN All-Decade team was voted on by a panel of 24 writers and analysts. The team’s offensive line (Tuesday); tight ends and defensive backs (Wednesday); wide receivers and defensive line (Thursday); quarterback, specialists, all-purpose player and coach (Friday) will be announced later this week.

UW running back Jonathan Taylor was named to the team Monday as well. 


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This article originally ran on madison.com.

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