Draft Scout Snapshot: DS Rating on 8/24/08: #1 ILB, #4/750 Overall, Projected Rnd: 1
2008: Named one of four finalists for the 2008 Rotary Lombardi Award (only Big Ten player in consideration for that award)... Winner of the Ronnie Lott Trophy. Named after Hall of Famer Ronnie Lott, the Lott Trophy is awarded to college football's Defensive IMPACT Player of the Year and is given as recognition of athletic performance and the personal character attributes of the player... Recipient of the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award. To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an Division I FBS senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence: Classroom, Character, Community, and Competition...Finalist for the Chuck Bednarik Award, presented to the nation's top defender by the Maxwell Club of Philadelphia and one of five defensive players among fifteen finalists for the Walter Camp Player of the Year award...Started all thirteen games, becoming the fourth player in school history to lead the team in tackles three times in a career, as he ranked second in the Big Ten and 14th nationally with an average of 10.0 tackles per game...Recorded a career-high 130 tackles (52 solos) that included four sacks for minus 28 yards, seven stops for losses of 34 yards and one QB pressure...Caused a fumble, deflected four passes and picked off two others...On 108 plays vs. the running game, the opposition gained 381 yards (3.53 ypc) and three touchdowns, with 20 first downs that included five rushes for longer than 10 yards, including two more than 20 yards, as he also stopped ball carriers for no gain at the line of scrimmage five times...On 41 pass plays he was involved in, the opposition completed 23 of those tosses (56.10%) for 147 yards and five first downs, an average of 6.39 yards per pass completion and 3.59 yards per pass attempt (jammed or rerouted receivers on eleven incomplete throws)...Made twelve of his tackles inside the red zone, including six on goal-line plays...Made nineteen third-down hits (11 vs. the run/8 vs. the pass) and six fourth-down stops (including one on a punt return)...Helped the team rank 14th in the nation in total defense (293.77 ypg), sixth in scoring defense (13.92 ppg) and 19th in rush defense (110.23 ypg)...2007: 13 GP; 13 GS; 51 Sol-121 TT, 8.5 TFL, 5 SK, 2 INT, 1 PBU, 1 FR; All-America linebacker who had another stellar season … Butkus Award winner … Big Ten defensive player of the year … Nagurski Award finalist … Lombardi Award finalist … Bednarik Award finalist … Lott Trophy finalist … Walter Camp player of the year finalist … first team All-America (Walter Camp, FWAA, AFCA, Sporting News, AP, Rivals) … lead team with 121 tackles … first team all-Big Ten (media, coaches, Rivals) … voted team caption … 25 career starts … Bill Willis award for defensive MVP … Big Ten all-academic … third-year letterman. 2006: 13 GP; 13 GS; 53 Sol-115 TT, 8.5 TFL, 4 SK, 5 INT, 2 PBU, 3 FF; Won the 2006 Nagurski Award as the nation's best defensive player ... was a finalist for the Butkus and Bednarik awards as a true sophomore... first-team All-Big Ten ... named a Walter Camp All-America and also by the Football Writers Association of America ... started all 13 games at the middle linebacker spot ... led the Buckeyes with 115 tackles, including 53 solo stops ... paced the Buckeyes with five interceptions, including a stretch of four-consecutive games against Texas, Cincinnati, Penn State and Iowa... his father is a popular professional wrestler watching his career peak in the 1980s and 1990s, known as "Animal" of the Legion of Doom, The Road Warriors tag team in WCW & WWE.
Post-Draft Outlook: A closer look at the Rams' picks: Round 2/35 -- James Laurinaitis, MLB, 6-2, 244, Ohio State...Instincts and intelligence are outstanding, registering 130 tackles last season. Lacks tremendous speed, but makes up for it with ability to flow to the ball. - by The Sports Xchange