ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) - Ohio State's James Laurinaitis won the Butkus Award on Friday night as the nation's best linebacker.
The junior became the second Buckeyes player to win the Butkus, joining Andy Katzenmoyer in 1997. Laurinaitis beat out Penn State's Dan Connor and Colorado Jordan Dizon.
Mississippi's Patrick Willis won the Butkus last season.
Laurinaitis leads the Buckeyes in tackles this season with 103 and has five sacks and two intereceptions.
He also was a finalist for the Nagurski and Bednarik awards, which go to the top defensive player in college football, and the Lombardi Award for the best lineman or linebacker. LSU defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey won the Lombardi and Nagurski awards, while and Connor took the Bednarik.
The Buckeyes and LSU will play in the BCS national championship game on Jan. 7 in New Orleans.
Laurinaitis won the Nagurski last season.
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