Ohio State linebacker James Laurinaitis was coveted nearly as much for his hockey skills as he was for his football ability coming out of high school. Had he not been so highly-touted for his gridiron success — as a high school senior, he was selected as Defensive Mr. Football in Minnesota and led Wayzata High School to the state championship game — he most likely would have been an early-round selection in the NHL Draft.
Laurinaitis has good size at 6-3 and about 240 pounds. He possesses sideline-to-sideline speed with great instincts and always seems to be around the ball. He has tremendous closing speed and is a solid tackler who wraps up very well. He needs to work on getting off blocks, however.
His biggest asset is probably his ability in pass coverage. He does a great job of dropping back into coverage and reading the quarterback. Always seems to put himself in position to make a play.
Laurinaitis could probably play on the inside or outside in the NFL.