When the 2007 season dawned, Ohio State pumped up linebacker James Laurinaitis, defensive end Vernon Gholston and cornerback Malcolm Jenkins, all juniors, as possible All-America candidates.
Those hopes came true Friday when the Walter Camp Football Foundation named Laurinaitis a first-team All-American, the second year in a row that the Minnesotan received the honor. Jenkins and Gholston were also tabbed, each earning second-team laurels.
Laurinaitis, who made 103 tackles and five sacks, joins Michigan offensive lineman Jake Long and Arkansas running back Darren McFadden, a Heisman finalist, as players to receive the first-team honor for the second year in a row.
For Jenkins and Gholston, this is the first Walter Camp All-America selection. The trio of Buckeyes is on a defense ranked first in the nation in both points and yards allowed.
Ohio State has the second-longest streak when it comes to first-team All-Americans. This is the seventh year in a row a Buckeye has made the first team, which is a year behind Texas’ streak that was continued this year by offensive lineman Tony Hills.
The Big Ten earned four first-team selections, giving it the second-most selections of any conference. The Big 12 was first with six players. Other Big Ten players to earn first-team honors along with Laurinaitis and Long are Wisconsin tight end Travis Beckum and Penn State linebacker Dan Connor. Beckum moved up from his second-team status a year ago.
Conference players on the second team include wideouts Mario Manningham of Michigan and James Hardy of Indiana, running back Mike Hart of Michigan, defensive linemen Greg Middleton of Indiana and Jonal Saint-Dic of Michigan State, and linebackers J. Leman of Illinois and Wolverine Shawn Crable. For Hart, the honor was the second straight second-team laurel.
BCS National Championship Game opponent LSU has two first-team choices: defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey and defensive back Craig Steltz.