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Scott M

Wayzata's Laurinaitis wins Butkus award

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Associated Press

Ohio State junior James Laurinaitis took home the Butkus Award for the nation's best linebacker Friday as voted by a national panel of 39 voters.

Laurinaitis is the fourth Buckeye to earn the honor in the award's 23-year existence, having beaten out Colorado's Jordon Dizon and Penn State's Dan Connor, the two runners-up.

"I feel like I've stolen it from these two guys and am taking the trophy back to Columbus," said Laurinaitis, who was also a finalist in 2006.

A 6-foot-3, 240-pounder from Hamel, Minnesota, Laurinaitis led a Buckeyes defense that ranked among the nation's best and is a big reason why OSU is headed back to the BCS National Championship game, where it will face LSU.

In 12 games, Laurinaitis amassed 103 tackles - 39 solo, 64 assisted - with five sacks, 8.5 tackles for loss, a pair of interceptions and a fumble recovery. For the season, the Buckeyes (11-1), have outscored their opponents 384-128.

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What a career. He's sure to be a top 5 pick. His dad was a professional wrestler...funny how things work out I guess.

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great player, but im not sure i see him as a top 5. the only possible place he would go that high is if new england nabs him with SF's pick, but i still think if he isnt already gone, mcfadden is going to the pats.

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Its good to see someone from Minnesota doing well. Shame he wasn't a gopher, thanks Mason. mad.gif Congrats to him anyways!

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