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Football: James Laurinaitis joining Big Ten Network

Former Ohio State linebacker (2005-2008) will be an analyst on the Big Ten Network in 2017. Credit: Courtesy of TNS

CHICAGO — Former Ohio State linebacker great James Laurinaitis is taking a new role in football as an analyst for Big Ten Network in 2017.

BTN President Mark Silverman announced that Laurinaitis, former Michigan wide receiver Braylon Edwards and former Northwestern defensive lineman Corey Wootten are joining the network for the upcoming football season.

Laurinaitis left Ohio State following the 2008 season as one of the most decorated players in program history as a three-time All-American, three-time first-team All-Big Ten player, two-time Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year and 2007 Butkus Award winner.

Laurinaitis announced his retirement from the NFL in April after totaling 869 tackles, 16.5 sacks and picked off 10 passes in eight pro seasons. He finished his career as the Los Angeles Rams all-time leading tackler. Laurinaitis was selected by the Rams with the 35th overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft.

“James came in and the intelligence, how thoughtful, well-spoken for someone who just retired months ago really blew us all away,” Silverman said. “It’s a great add for us … we think people who watch James are going to be really impressed with what he has to offer.”

Silverman also announced that the network is collaborating with SportsTime Ohio for a weekly Ohio State football show.

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