Brice Borgeson is a man of few words.
A fifth-year senior inside linebacker, Borgeson always has been content to let his play speak for itself and that volume has increased in the past three weeks.
In contests against ranked opponents Southeastern Louisiana, Nicholls and Central Arkansas, Borgeson has put together the most productive stretch of his Northwestern State career, tallying 27 tackles and a pair of pass breakups. He started the run with a career-best 10 tackles (six solo) against then-No. 19 Southeastern Louisiana on Sept. 28.
“I’ve always been like that,” Borgeson said. “I’d rather do my job on the field. I feel more comfortable doing that than speaking up.”
Borgeson, a 6-foot-2, 227-pounder from Brownsboro, Texas, spent his first four seasons in a Demons uniform bouncing around different spots on the NSU defense.
A little more than midway through his senior year, Borgeson has settled in alongside Ja’Quay Pough as the Demons inside linebacker pairing. The duo ranks first (Pough, 48) and tied for second (Borgeson, 43) on the team in tackles. Entering this season, Borgeson had recorded 51 tackles in his first three years.
“I feel like the defense as a whole has come together,” Borgeson said. “(Defensive coordinator) Coach (Mike) Lucas’ scheme has really helped us a lot. The defensive line has played well in front of us, which allows us to go make plays. I had fun playing defensive end, but playing linebacker opens you up and gives you more opportunities to make plays.”
Borgeson’s understated nature is well known to those closest to him.
After earning NSU’s Defensive Player of the Week honors for his 10-tackle performance against Southeastern Louisiana, the football Twitter account for Van High School, Borgeson’s alma mater, posited the amount of tackles “may be more words than we could squeeze out of you in two years.”
Reminded of the tweet, Borgeson simply smiled and laughed about it.
“He leads by example,” second-year head coach Brad Laird said. “Brice will talk a little more than what you think outside of football – not a lot, but more than what some people think. He’s been a positive leader by example for this team on the football field.”
Borgeson is one of nine Demons who already has earned his undergraduate degrees and is playing the 2019 season as graduate students.
He is also one of numerous fifth-year seniors who made the decision to continue their football careers even after picking up their degrees. At Northwestern State’s annual Fall Sports Media Day, Lucas explained a meeting he had with Borgeson regarding the linebacker’s prospects for playing in 2019.
An emotional Lucas described what meeting with Borgeson meant to him and used it to characterize the all-in attitude of the senior class.
“I really respect him,” Borgeson said of Lucas. “He’s a great coach and a great man. The fifth-year seniors met as a group, and we wanted to come back and play, see it through. We felt we had a really good group of guys who love this program, love this coaching staff, this team and these players.”
Borgeson’s leadership style and personality mesh seamlessly, something Laird views as a positive for a position that often is called the quarterback of the defense.
“How would you describe him? Steady,” Laird said. “You know what you’re going to get from Brice day in and day out from Monday to Saturday. You don’t want to be a roller-coaster ride in the middle. He’s not a roller-coaster ride. He’s going to be where he needs to be. That’s been Brice for the five years he’s been here. He’s grown within the program and in his role as a football player. You see the role he’s played in this position and how he has really taken off compared to the role he’s played in the previous four years.”
Photo Credit: Chris Reich/NSU Photgraphic Services