Former Ohio State linebacker James Laurinaitis announced his retirement from the NFL on Wednesday after an eight-year career spent mainly with the St. Louis Rams.
Laurinaitis was a three-time consensus All-American with the Buckeyes from 2006-2008 and won the Butkus Award as the country’s top linebacker as a junior. As a senior, he won the Lott Trophy and the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award. He helped Ohio State reach the BCS championship game twice.
Drafted in the second round by the Rams, Laurinaitis had at least 109 tackles in his seven seasons with St. Louis. In 2015, he set the franchise’s all-time tackling record.
“With the offseason programs starting back up,” Laurinaitis, 30, wrote on Twitter, “the thing I’m going to miss the most is the locker room. The conversations and relationships I built with all that I’ve battled with will be my favorite memories.
“Players, coaches, equipment staff, medical staff, community outreach, marketing, you name it, the people I’ve met through this game is what I’ll take with me. I’ve been blessed way more through the game of football than I could’ve ever imagined. I’ve been able to live my dreams that started as a 4th grader and I’m grateful.”
The Rams waived Laurinaitis after the 2015 season. He played in five games for the New Orleans Saints in 2016 before an injury ended his season.
“I still love the game, but the body says it’s time to move on,” Laurinaitis wrote. “I’m really looking forward to transitioning into what’s next with my beautiful wife and daughters.”