Buckeye Bits: Returning All-American, Butkus and Nagurski Award recipient ... the most proficient linebacker in the college ranks today ... smart, instinctive player who studies every facet of the game ... exceptional dedication in the weight room and on the practice field ... wants to make his senior season his best yet.
2007 (Junior): All-America linebacker and Butkus Award winner ... Big Ten defensive player of the year ... Nagurski, Lombardi, Bednarik, Lott, Walter Camp player of the year finalist ... first team All-America (Walter Camp, FWAA, AFCA, Sporting News, AP, Rivals) ... led team with 121 tackles ... first team all-Big Ten ... voted team captain ... 25 career starts ... pair of interceptions at Washington ... 14 tackles at Minnesota ... 12 tackles against Michigan State ... career-best 19 tackles in Wisconsin win, along with two TFL and a fumble recovery ... 12 tackles vs. Illinois ... BCS championship game record 18 tackles vs. LSU ... defensive player of week: Youngstown State, Akron ... Attack Force award: Washington, Minnesota, Wisconsin ... special teams dog tags: Wisconsin ... Big Ten player of week: Washington, Wisconsin ... Bill Willis award for defensive MVP ... Big Ten all-academic.
2006 (Sophomore): Won the 2006 Nagurski Award as the nation’s best defensive player ... finalist for the Butkus and Bednarik awards as a true sophomore... first-team All-Big Ten ... Walter Camp and FWAA All-America ... starting all 13 games, led the Buckeyes with 115 tackles, including 53 solo stops ... paced the Buckeyes with five interceptions ... returned first career interception 25 yards in a 24-7 win at No. 2 Texas ... had a two-yard interception return vs. Cincinnati and then had a 13-yard INT return in a 28-6 victory vs. Penn State ... picked off a pass for the fourth straight game late in the fourth quarter at No. 13 Iowa ... fourth-quarter interception at Illinois ... forced two Texas fumbles, one on the goal line, and another at Northwestern ... Big Ten defensive player of week (Texas) ... team weekly defensive honors five times.
2005 (Freshman): Played in all 12 games and had nine tackles as a true freshman behind Bobby Carpenter on the strong side ... played almost the entire Michigan game after Carpenter suffered a broken ankle on the first play ... started the bowl against Notre Dame.
High School: Named Minnesota’s Defensive Mr. Football as a senior ... collected 193 tackles, including 28 tackles-for-loss and five sacks as a senior after racking up 160 tackles as a junior ... led Wayzata to the Minnesota 5A state championship game as a senior ... also a hockey standout and team captain as a senior.
Personal: Son of Joe and Julie Laurinaitis ... his father was a popular professional wrestler known as “the Animal” of the Legion of Doom ... has an older brother, Joey (a Dayton policeman), and a younger sister, Jessica, who plays hockey.