The relatively disappointing season for the Ohio State Buckeyes wasn’t just felt in the BCS Standings as individual players also took a hit when it came to post-season awards. Senior linebacker James Laurinaitis received plenty of recognition over the years, but 2008 saw him leave several banquets empty-handed.
Thankfully, that changed last night when the sure-fire first-round draft pick took home the Lott Trophy; the award named after Hall of Famer Ronnie Lott that factors in a player on and off of the field.
The award, named after former Southern California and NFL star Ronnie Lott, is given to a defensive player who combines integrity, maturity, performance, academics and community service.
Obviously, the fact that the Buckeyes lost two games this season did not help his case – and many have said that the senior backer is not of the “big game” type. But with a team-leading 121 tackles, it was good to see Laurinaitis get some recognition before heading to the NFL.
James was a finalist for the award last season, but did not win. On the contrary, he did take home several awards last year that he did not win this season.
Wake Forest’s Aaron Curry took home this year’s Butkus Award for best linebacker. The awards for best defensive player (Bendarik Award), as well best linebacker or lineman (Lombardi Award) saw Laurinaitis nominated but shut out. Texas defensive end Brian Orakpo took home the Lombardi as well as the Nagurski Trophy for best defender – an award that Laurinatis did not even receive nomination for, though winning it in 2006.