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Pitt FB Recruiting

Nebraska Transfer DE Chief Borders Commits to Pitt

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Pitt linebacker Chief Borders.

Pitt needed help on the defensive line, and that’s what the Panthers are getting with the arrival of Chief Borders.

Borders — a 6-foot-4, 245-pound rising redshirt junior linebacker from Nebraska — committed to Pitt Sunday afternoon, adding much-needed depth (and potential production) at the end of the defensive line.

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He was listed as a linebacker in the Cornhuskers’ defensive system, but he’s going to be an end in Pittsburgh — which is perhaps more suited for his skillset.

“Let’s get to work,” Borders wrote on X (formerly known as Twitter).

Borders was initially a four-star linebacker out of Heard County in Carrolton, Ga. in the class of 2021, picking the Gators over offers from Arkansas, Auburn, Colorado, Florida State, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan State, Oregon, Pitt, South Carolina, Stanford, Syracuse, Tennessee and Virginia Tech.

He spent two seasons at Florida, recording just 19 defensive snaps during his time as a Gator, but he was more productive last season at Nebraska. And as reported by Michael Bruntz of Huskers247, Borders was the most improved player on the ‘Huskers defense this spring.

“Chief Borders is probably the most improved player on our team through camp,” Rhule said after Nebraska’s first scrimmage. “I mean, Chief has (arrived at), ‘You know what? I can play.’ And he’s a problem out there.”

Borders recorded nine tackles (three solo), 0.5 tackles for loss and a pass breakup in 147 defensive snaps last season, lining up on the defensive line on 115 of those snaps. According to PFF, he registered three pressures, three hurries and two run stops — not missing a tackle.

He will be a welcomed addition to the defensive line room this summer, a much-needed injection of experience and potential.

Nate Matlack wound up being a significant winter pickup. He’s a Day 1 starter with experience and potential. Seeing him put together the season many expected Dayon Hayes to have wouldn’t be surprising. There are a lot of questions outside of Matlack though.

Bam Brima is an experienced rotation player but isn’t a difference-maker. Sincere Edwards looks like a future star off the edge, but he hasn’t played a snap of college football yet. Jimmy Scott and David Ojiegbe are both firmly in the mix.

It’s just hard to bet solely on potential.

It isn’t easy to replace 90% of snaps from any unit. But at the same time, change was needed on the interior of the defensive line. The unit didn’t make splash plays and didn’t stop the run. It was missing twitch and quickness.

By all accounts, the new defensive tackles aren’t. Nahki Johnson and Sean FitzSimmons are leading the way, and Nick James, Isaiah Neal and Elliot Donald will rotate. Pitt likes to rotate on the interior, even if someone like Calijah Kancey is on the roster, and that isn’t going to change when there isn’t someone like him around. It’s about finding the right combination now.

Even young players like Francis Brewu and Jahsear Whittington could be in the mix entering the season, despite their newness.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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Kelvin Byrd
Kelvin Byrd
17 days ago

Good pickup.

H2P.

Tim
Tim
17 days ago

Hail to the Chief. H2P

Giovanni
Giovanni
16 days ago

Welcome aboard, Chief. Badly needed since losing Okunlola was a massive hit. Hayes also.

Randino
Randino
16 days ago

Got some good news today! This portal pick up will definitely help.

katuracassells@gmail.com
katuracassells@gmail.com
16 days ago

There they go again, ” Brima is not a difference maker.” He is probably the best D- end we have. Hayes and Temple got most of the snaps, but we’re not ” difference makers.”

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