NEWPORT BEACH, CA. Ohio State Senior Linebacker James Laurinaitis has been named one of the four finalists for the fifth annual Lott Trophy, it was announced today.

Laurinaitis (6-3, 244., Hamel, Mn.), who had already had a highly decorated collegiate career, was a Lott finalist last year. He has won the Butkus and Nagurski awards in previous seasons. Laurinaitis is a two-time Big 10 Defensive Player of the Year and a two-time Ohio State captain. He’s been an academic All-American and on the Dean’s List each of his four years. He led the Buckeyes in tackles again this season with 121.

Says Ohio State Head Coach Jim Tressel, “He’s a talented yet humble young man who brings enormous credit to the game of college football. He represents Ohio State with poise and class.”

The winner will be announced at a black-tie banquet at The Pacific Club in Newport Beach, Ca. Dec. 14.

Named after Hall of Famer Ronnie Lott, The Lott Trophy is awarded to college football’s Defensive IMPACT Player of the Year. Now in its fifth year, The Lott Trophy is the first and only college football award to equally recognize athletic performance and the personal character attributes of the player.

Sponsored by The Pacific Club IMPACT Foundation, the Lott award is given to a player who exhibits the same characteristics Lott embodied during his distinguished career: Integrity, Maturity, Performance, Academics, Community and Tenacity.

Voters for the award include selected members of the national media, previous finalists, the Board of Directors of the Pacific Club IMPACT Foundation and Legends Coaches, a distinguished group of former head college coaches.

The other finalists are Aaron Curry of Wake Forest, Brian Orakpo of Texas and Myron Rolle of Florida State.

Each finalist receives $5,000 for his school’s general scholarship fund and the university of the winner receives $25,000.

This year’s banquet is sold out. The keynote speaker will be long-time college football announcer Keith Jackson.