With the start of the Otterbein football season only a couple weeks away, it might be interesting to get some perspective from one of the best football players in Ohio State history, who later played eight years in the NFL.
James Laurinaitis spoke about preparing for the season and games, transitioning to the NFL, and life after football. At Ohio State, he was an All-American linebacker. He also started 112 consecutive games in the NFL, finishing his career with 802 total tackles.
How did the level of play change as you transitioned from college to the NFL?
“It’s a whole other level there mentally. The overall talent was just shocking. You play 12-13 games in college, and by the time you get through four preseason games and the regular season that’s 20 games and that’s not including playoffs if you get there, so just a whole lot of adjustments especially that first year.”
What advice do you have for college athletes once they are done playing sports?
“It’s hard because we have all been playing sports. It’s your natural rhythm in life. When that’s done you kind of look around and you're like okay, I know what to do in the gym but there’s no coach here to tell me what to do. You're by yourself and it’s kind of a whole new thing to go through. I would say working as a team is going to be applicable no matter what job you go into. I always tell myself you can be a thermometer or a thermostat, you can set the temperature, or you can just react to it.”
What was the funniest experience you had in your career?
“Chris Long (NFL teammate) pranked me. I was in meetings and I tried to go to the parking lot and find my car and it wasn’t there. I’m searching the facility, and someone said they saw it in the indoor facility. I get to my car and it’s wrapped in saran wrap and so I cut the saran wrap and it’s filled to the steering wheel with packaging peanuts. I pull out all the packaging peanuts and then there was a thousand crickets in there. I was so mad.”