« Football 2008

James Laurinaitis

School

Ohio State University

Position
Linebacker
Major
Communication

Classroom

James is an Academic All-Big Ten selection and carries a 3.28 GPA in communication.

Character

Elected as a team captain for the 2008 season, Laurinaitis was predicted as a top 15 NFL draft pick in April, but decided to return for his senior season to complete his college career and finish his degree.

Community

James is active in outreach involving Christian groups on campus and working with young people statewide. He speaks to 2-3 groups per month in terms of his witness and faith. And feels his position as a football player gives him a unique platform from which to reach young people with Christ’s message.

Competition

Laurinaitis was a preseason contender for just about every national defensive award.  He was one of four finalists for the Lombardi Award, one of the players to watch for the Walter Camp Player of the Year Award, and was a Heisman Trophy hopeful. He is considered to be among the top players in college football. During James’ time as a Buckeye, they have won four straight Big Ten championships, played in two consecutive national championship games, and the 2009 Fiesta Bowl. Recently, Laurinaitis was named the winner of the Lott Award.  The Lott Trophy is awarded to college football’s Defensive IMPACT Player of the Year. Laurinaitis was named an All-American by the American Football Coaches Association on December 4, 2008 and was also named the Big Ten preseason and postseason defensive player of the year for a second time this season.  He was an unanimous first team all-Big Ten selection, and one of four Rotary Lombardi Award Finalists.  James also finished his collegiate career as one of three Bednarik Award finalists and as number 14 in NCAA and the Big Ten leader in tackles per game (130 tackles for the season).  He is Ohio State’s eighth three-time All-American and leaves as a fourth-year letterman.