Ohio State linebacker James Laurinaitis has spent time around cameras his entire life. His father was famed professional wrestler Animal, one half of The Road Warriors (Legion of Doom) tag team and two of his uncles were also involved in pro wrestling.
Laurinaitis met with the media on Saturday and looked comfortable and polished in front of all the cameras, giving articulate answers to every question.
He said his favorite wrestler growing up was “The Heartbreak Kid” Shawn Michaels and explained that his exposure to the media from a young age helped him deal with the spotlight of being a star football player at Ohio State and now at the combine.
“It’s helped a little bit, to be honest. I don’t get shy among the cameras. I mean when you’re backstage with dad and you see him doing live promos and all this stuff, you’re like OK, that was just life as a kid,” Laurinaitis said.
“It was an awesome childhood. You get a chance to see a lot of cool things.”
Laurinaitis also explained his decision to return to Ohio State for his senior season, even though he was projected as a possible Top-10 pick in last year’s draft.
He pointed out that “a free scholarship is something I think too many guys take for granted,” and seemed sincerely touched by his experience as a Buckeye.
“I think I owed it to Ohio State. They gave me a chance. I was only recruited by two schools out of high school — Minnesota and Ohio State — and they offered me a scholarship and a free chance to go to school, get my education and play football at a place like that. I felt I owed them that fourth year.”