Laurinatis Switches From Minnesota To Ohio State
James Laurinaitis
James Laurinaitis

Posted Dec 12, 2004

In a bit of a surprise, linebacker James Laurinaitis of Plymouth, Minnesota has committed to Ohio State. Laurinaitis was previously committed to the University of Minnesota but saw enough on his visit this weekend to commit to the Buckeyes. Duane Long has more on OSU's latest commitment.

The Buckeyes got another verbal commitment this weekend as linebacker James Laurinaitis of Plymouth, Minnesota committed to Ohio State. Laurinaitis was previously committed to the University of Minnesota, but he told us a short time ago that he decided to switch his decision.

"It was fun," Laurinaitis said. "It was just a really fun trip, and I committed.

"I was hosted by Chad Hoobler. What a really great guy he is."

The coaching staff was a big factor in his decision.

"I just could not believe how comfortable I was with the coaches," Laurinaitis said. "Tressel, Fickell and Tucker. I thought I could talk to them about anything.

"Then I went out on the field and went out to practice and saw all those silver helmets flying around. It got me excited."

Laurinaitis added that the appeal of playing for championships helps as well.

"There was something else," he said. "It just seemed like the coaches know what they were doing. They know how to win championships."

Laurinaitis is taking an interesting approach as he is looking forward to being around OSU's senior linebackers next year, even if it means redshirting.

"I don't care if I have to sit," Laurinaitis said. "All I really want to do is follow those great linebackers around and learn next year."

Overall, Laurinaitis seems to be excited about the talent he'll be playing with, regardless of position.

"The best players in the country play here," he said. "I want those kind of linemen in front of me."

Laurinaitis, who is also a hockey player and a good friend of OSU freshman hockey player Johann Kroll, said he is sold on OSU but will still pay a visit to Minnesota.

"I will still go to Minnesota," he said. "I think I owe them that much."

Laurinaitis, who is the son of ex-pro wrestler "Animal" of the tag team "The Road Warriors" a.k.a. "The Legion of Doom," prefers middle linebacker. He had an impressive 165 tackles through his first 12 games this year.

Laurinaitis is ranked as Minnesota's No. 7 overall prospect by As a junior, he had 128 tackles, 10 tackles for loss and four interceptions.

Click here for video of James Laurinaitis (Premium Link)

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 -by  Dec 16, 2004
Laurinaitis Stays With Buckeyes
 -by  Dec 19, 2004

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