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  1. #1
    C-Mob 71's Avatar
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    An Animal on the field, great CLASS off it.

    For all you guys who think we should have taken Mauluga instead of The Animal, I was looking around and found yet another reason why he was the best choice:

    OHIO STATE LINEBACKER JAMES LAURINAITIS IS INAUGURAL WINNER OF THE LOWE’S SENIOR CLASS AWARD
    January 05, 2009

    (Tempe, Arizona) – Three-time All-American linebacker James Laurinaitis, who returned to Ohio State University for his senior season in 2008 and led the Buckeyes to a fourth consecutive Big Ten Championship while being a role model both on and off the field, has been named the inaugural winner of the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award for NCAA® Division I Football (Bowl Subdivision).

    The award, chosen by a nationwide vote of coaches, media and fans, is presented annually to the most outstanding NCAA Division I senior student-athlete in nine sports. The announcement and trophy presentation to Laurinaitis were made today during the pre-game show of the Fiesta Bowl national telecast on FOX.

    An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School, the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award has grown into the nation’s premier tribute to college seniors. The award identifies personal qualities that define a complete student-athlete, with criteria including excellence in the classroom, character and community, as well as competition on the field.

    Laurinaitis, who has received many awards including the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year, said the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award is special because of what it represents. “What a tremendous honor this is to be recognized with such a prestigious award,” Laurinaitis said. “The Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award is already well known in basketball, and to be the first-ever winner for football is something very special. I appreciate the compliment it pays to me and to Ohio State to be recognized for character, academics and community service. I am very proud to be the winner.”

    Laurinaitis was voted team captain for the second consecutive season by his teammates and is only the seventh Buckeye to be elected twice. He is a three-time, first-team All-Big Ten selection, and finished second in the Big Ten in 2008 with 121 tackles (10.1 per game). He recorded eight double-figure tackle games this season and ranks seventh in Ohio State history with 366 career tackles. During his tenure as a Buckeye, Ohio State has played in four BCS Bowl games, including two national championship games.

    A fierce competitor, Laurinaitis’ ambition is also apparent in the classroom. The Academic All-Big Ten selection will graduate this March with a degree in communications and currently maintains a 3.28 GPA.

    A native of Hamel, Minnesota, Laurinaitis makes community outreach a priority. He shares his personal testimony to multiple groups per month and sees his position as a football player as a platform to motivate others.

    “James Laurinaitis is the type of young man who takes to heart the ability of a college athlete to be a positive role model for others,” remarked Ohio State Head Coach Jim Tressel. “Through his play on the field, through his academic success and through his service to others, he represents Ohio State and collegiate athletics in a tremendously positive manner.”

    The Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award also names an All-Senior All-America Team each year based on voting results of the finalists. Joining Laurinaitis on the 2008 first team are: Louie Sakoda (University of Utah), Chase Daniel (University of Missouri - Columbia), Chase Clement (Rice University), and Jeff Byers (University of Southern California). The second team includes Maurice Crum, Jr. (University of Notre Dame), Darryl Richard (Georgia Tech University), Alex Mack (University of California - Berkeley), Travis Beckum (University of Wisconsin - Madison), and Austin Starr (Indiana University).

    “When you read about James Laurinaitis one question comes to mind, ‘How does he do it?’” said Bob Gfeller, Lowe’s Senior Vice President of Marketing and Advertising. “James will leave Ohio State University not only as the one of the best defensive players in school history, but also with his degree. Lowe’s is honored to recognize one of the nation’s top athletes not only for his dominance on the football field, but for his community, character, and classroom success.”

    Sportscaster Dick Enberg, Honorary Chairman of the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award, first conceived the idea of an award for seniors in 2001 in response to the growing trend of men’s basketball players leaving school early for the NBA.

    Lowe’s, an official Corporate Partner of the NCAA and NCAA Football, expanded the Senior CLASS Award program in 2007 to include NCAA Division I men’s and women’s soccer, men’s ice hockey, men’s lacrosse, baseball, and softball. With the addition of Football (Bowl Subdivision) this year, the award program now includes nine NCAA sports.

    “Recognizing the many achievements of student-athletes is a goal the NCAA proudly shares with our corporate partner Lowe’s,” said Greg Shaheen, NCAA Senior Vice President of Basketball and Business Strategies. “The Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award places a spotlight on the quality attributes of our future student-athlete graduates. The NCAA is proud to honor student-athlete leaders who have demonstrated a commitment to excel on the field of competition while they earn their degrees.”



    Player Card-James Laurinitis

    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.



    We have all heard the argument that James is a more disciplined player, better tackler, and better in coverage than Rey, but if you are still not convinced hopefully reading what kind of a kid JL is will at least allow you to realize that the Rams drafted someone that will make our team better, not just on the field, but off it too. Hey I'm not gonna lie, I was rooting for Rey in the chat room, but doing a little bit of research- not just listening to Kiper & Co., and not just watching Rey's highlight hits, I have realized that Devaney made the right call and chose the best middle linebacker for the Rams.

    PS, still wish we would have been able to get Curry AND shore up the OL, but getting James is quickly making me forget that I once had a man crush on a Seahawk.


  2. #2
    TekeRam's Avatar
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    Re: An Animal on the field, great CLASS off it.

    I know it would have been nice to get Curry and then the OT, especially as I was going for Loadholt to play RT and keep Barron on the Left, which who knows, it may still end up that way with Jason Smith this year. But the way I look at it, I see us getting the top rated player for two positions, as opposed to just one. Not to mention the fact that Curry would have to adjust to MLB, which he certainly could have done and was looking forward to doing, but instead we got the top tackle, and we got the best NATURAL Mike LB. I really wanted Curry, but I'd much rather have Laurinaitus.

  3. #3
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    Re: An Animal on the field, great CLASS off it.

    Don't listen to the "experts". There is a reason why we drafted the kid. He's high character and a very good football player who comes from a prestigious program (that plays difficult teams year around).

    I was rooting for Maualuga too, but as the draft approached, I liked Laurinaitis more.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    Devaney, if you care about this team... fire the offensive coordinator!!!!

  4. #4
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    Re: An Animal on the field, great CLASS off it.

    Look, all this is good. I think he will be a good LB for the Rams. However, all this stuff is mute to me. I don't care. Can you tackle when it counts? Can you stay in your lane when you need to? All indications tend to point that he can play. However, haven't seem play at the NFL level yet. No one has. I won't be happy with what I see till year 3.

  5. #5
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    Re: An Animal on the field, great CLASS off it.

    Laurinaitis is an awesome player. I hope he does great this season and avoids any injuries. I might just buy one of his jerseys when they come out.

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    Re: An Animal on the field, great CLASS off it.

    i confess, i have a big man crush on james!
    i wanted rey too but im glad we chose the animal.

    great guy off the field, fantastic leader and player on the field.
    4 pillars guy through and through.

  7. #7
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    Re: An Animal on the field, great CLASS off it.

    Quote Originally Posted by txramsfan View Post
    Look, all this is good. I think he will be a good LB for the Rams. However, all this stuff is mute to me. I don't care. Can you tackle when it counts? Can you stay in your lane when you need to? All indications tend to point that he can play. However, haven't seem play at the NFL level yet. No one has. I won't be happy with what I see till year 3.
    Does this mean that you don't care about any of our draft picks yet?

    I am not saying this in negative light, because if this is the case, than I respect your position. But if he is the only player that you feel this way about, than I would feel you are a hypocrite. Just touching base, because I feel like he has proven himself as well as anyone else at the college level, and if your argument is that he needs to do it again in the NFL, than I say yes he does, but so does everyone else. The playing field is even, and only the strongest survive.

    But, let us wish him good luck, as with all the draftees and our Rams. As 2009 could be a very memorable season, or, at the same time, a season to forget with haste.

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    Re: An Animal on the field, great CLASS off it.

    Actually, it's all of them. They are rookies. Half the first round will bust. Same goes for the second round. Some players are great college players but don't equate out in the NFL. I'm excited about the potential of our picks but I'm not going to post on here that this guy or that guy is a lock. No one knows.

  9. #9
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    Re: An Animal on the field, great CLASS off it.

    I for one, was, and still am 100% on the Rey bandwagon. I have played football with that guy since highschool. He is a GREAT guy both on and off the field. An outstanding tackler, great drops, and can get into coverage. Heck, he can even pic six (at the college level anyways). Also, the way he motivates a team, was something I felt we needed. We haven't had one of "those" type middle linebackers since we lost Fletcher. Now, I am not saying that Laurinaitis is "garbage" or even bad in any way. I think it was a great pick, and if Rey wasn't available at the time, I feel it would have been the best LB pick. However, I do feel Rey will be a much more of an "impact" player. Watching the draft on ESPN, looked like Mr. Faulk agreed. At least he was talking Rey up a bit. He makes the entire offense line look for him, everyone on offense must account for Rey at all times. Let him hit the QB once or twice, let him smash that RB coming through the whole, and I promise they WILL think twice ( QB's get frustrated, yell at the OL, OL get's frustrated and start throwing "look out" blocks). His speed, his strength, and his work ethic make him the superior athlete in my mind. The guy is by far, the hardest working man I have ever seen. I also don't buy into this "Rey is a two down back" by any stretch. The man was damn near a 4 down back for USC. I am not sure why everyone feels he could only be used in 2 downs. Also, the big selling point for me, was watching the Ohio/SC game (yes, again). Rey was easily the more "stand out" LB on the field that day. He showed he was a game changer. Laurinaitis did not. Well, not to the same point Rey was.

    I know I am new, I just wanted to voice my opinion and see what others thought. I am a die hard Rams fan, and come from a family of Rams fans. It's in the blood. Name is James. Look forward to chattin with yall some more. Go Rams !

  10. #10
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    Re: An Animal on the field, great CLASS off it.

    Quote Originally Posted by theBrawlerFan View Post
    I for one, was, and still am 100% on the Rey bandwagon. I have played football with that guy since highschool. He is a GREAT guy both on and off the field. An outstanding tackler, great drops, and can get into coverage. Heck, he can even pic six (at the college level anyways). Also, the way he motivates a team, was something I felt we needed. We haven't had one of "those" type middle linebackers since we lost Fletcher. Now, I am not saying that Laurinaitis is "garbage" or even bad in any way. I think it was a great pick, and if Rey wasn't available at the time, I feel it would have been the best LB pick. However, I do feel Rey will be a much more of an "impact" player. Watching the draft on ESPN, looked like Mr. Faulk agreed. At least he was talking Rey up a bit. He makes the entire offense line look for him, everyone on offense must account for Rey at all times. Let him hit the QB once or twice, let him smash that RB coming through the whole, and I promise they WILL think twice ( QB's get frustrated, yell at the OL, OL get's frustrated and start throwing "look out" blocks). His speed, his strength, and his work ethic make him the superior athlete in my mind. The guy is by far, the hardest working man I have ever seen. I also don't buy into this "Rey is a two down back" by any stretch. The man was damn near a 4 down back for USC. I am not sure why everyone feels he could only be used in 2 downs. Also, the big selling point for me, was watching the Ohio/SC game (yes, again). Rey was easily the more "stand out" LB on the field that day. He showed he was a game changer. Laurinaitis did not. Well, not to the same point Rey was.

    I know I am new, I just wanted to voice my opinion and see what others thought. I am a die hard Rams fan, and come from a family of Rams fans. It's in the blood. Name is James. Look forward to chattin with yall some more. Go Rams !
    First off: welcome to the Clan!! We can and probably will argue over which linebacker was the better pick all season, who knows who's best at this point? The simple fact is that Spags and Billy preferred Laurinaitis to Rey - for whatever reasons. FYI, I was on the Maualuga bandwagon pretty much all last season when it was abundantly clear we needed a major upgrade in the middle. As the off-season progressed, I became more enamored of James, and by draft time it was pretty much a tie between them as far as I was concerned. Bottom line is: James is our guy, and I'm sure he'll do his best to try and prove Billy and Spags were right in selecting him over Rey Maualuga .. A big hitter is fun to watch and can intimidate the opposition, however, the big hitters can also miss tackles while trying for a knockout hit. More than anything we need a guy who takes the right angles consistently, and makes the tackle - no whiffs !! Us Ram fans have seen way too much whiffing the last few years. Lets hope James can change things dramatically in that regard ...

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    Re: An Animal on the field, great CLASS off it.

    Nice C-Mob 71. James sounds like a great addition. I understand all the excitement and optimism taking him. We're hungry for wins. Hope he becomes an integral cog in the wheel being put together by our brain trust.

  12. #12
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    Re: An Animal on the field, great CLASS off it.

    Quote Originally Posted by txramsfan View Post
    Look, all this is good. I think he will be a good LB for the Rams. However, all this stuff is mute to me. I don't care. Can you tackle when it counts? Can you stay in your lane when you need to? All indications tend to point that he can play. However, haven't seem play at the NFL level yet. No one has. I won't be happy with what I see till year 3.
    Well, one thing you can count on Tx is with that 3.28 GPA and college diploma, he more than likely knows who the Vice President of the United States is!

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