James Laurinaitis: The Best of the Best on Defense

Emily ThompsonCorrespondent IAugust 13, 2008

James Laurinaitis is arguably the best defensive player Ohio State has ever seen. He's led the Ohio State defense to two straight National Championship appearances, and three straight Big 10 Championships.

Let's breakdown what this powerhouse did last season.

James was an All American linebacker, and Butkus Award winner. Also won the Bill Willis Award for Defensive MVP.

He was also the Big 10 defensive player of the year. He was a finalist for Nagurski, Lombardi, Bednarik, Lott, and Walter Camp player of the year.

Voted first team All-America by Walter Camp, FWAA, AFCA, Sporting News, AP, and Rivals. He was also first team All-Big 10.

He led the team with 121 tackles, and was voted Team Captain.

Laurinaitis had two interceptions at Washington, 14 tackles at Minnesota, 12 tackles against Michigan State, 19 tackles against Wisconsin along with two for loss and a fumble recovery. He had 12 tackles at Illinois, and a BCS game record 18 tackles vs. LSU.

He was the defensive player of the week vs. Youngstown State and Akron.

He received the Attack Force Award vs. Washington, Minnesota, and Wisconsin.

Lauirinaitis received the Special Teams Dog Tags vs. Wisconsin.

He was the Big 10 player of the week vs. Washington and Wisconsin.