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  James Laurinaitis is going to make the College Football Hall of Fame eventually. As one of eight three-time All-Americans in Ohio State history, the former linebacker will be inducted at some point. Of the other seven, four of them are in the hall: Chic Harley, Wes Fesler, Archie Griffin and Mike Doss. Doss was inducted last year. Three others are not: Lew Hinchman, Merle Wendt and Tom Skladany. Hinchman and Wendt played in the 1930s, and players more than 50 years past their playing days are no longer eligible. And Skladany was a punter. (Only one full-time punter, Ray Guy, is in the hall, and frankly, Skladany has a pretty compelling case for induction.)

So the day will come for Laurinaitis, who on Monday was announced as one of the candidates for the Class of 2023. He is on the ballot for the fourth time. Among the 176 players and 42 coaches on the ballot this year, the only other Buckeye is offensive lineman Chris Ward, an offensive tackle who was a two-time All-American in 1976 and 1977. In looking at the 40 Ohio State players and coaches in the hall so far, the relatively small number of Ohio State linebackers surprised me. According to the searchable database on the hall website, 62 linebackers have been inducted. So maybe three for Ohio State, about five percent of the total, is right. But there are several OSU LB candidates who aren't in. The three linebackers inducted so far are Randy Gradishar, Chris Spielman and Tom Cousineau. All three were two-time first-team All-Americans. - Cleveland Plain Dealer


Sr/2009 ILB James LaurinaitisOhio State
News Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer



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