CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Ohio State middle linebacker James Laurinaitis won the Bronko Nagurski Trophy on Monday night, awarded to the nation's best defensive player by the Charlotte Touchdown Club.
The sophomore leads the top-ranked Buckeyes with 100 tackles and five interceptions. He also has four sacks.
The award was another victory for Ohio State over rival Michigan, with Wolverines cornerback Leon Hall was one of the five finalists. The 6-foot-3 244-pound Laurinaitis also beat out Florida safety Reggie Nelson. The Buckeyes will face the Gators for the national championship on Jan. 8.