James Laurinaitis was a 3-time consensus All-American linebacker at the Ohio State University.
He was selected 35th overall in the 2nd round of the 2009 NFL Draft by the St. Louis Rams.
His Dad, Joe was one half of “The Road Warriors” wrestling duo in the WWE, and WCW.
James is the only player ever to win two Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year awards.
In April of 2017, James announced his retirement from the NFL at the age of 30.
On this episode of the podcast, James shares with us why he chose to retire at 30 years old, what it was like growing up with a Dad as a professional wrestler, what the morning after an NFL game feels like from a pain perspective, and what he plans to do following retirement.
This is EPISODE 35 of the Sports Spectrum Podcast
4:55 – On retirement from the NFL at age 30.
6:15 – That feeling of waking up on a Monday morning after an NFL game.
7:45 – The recovery from a football game.
10:45 – What that first Sunday of the NFL season will be like not having to prepare to play.
13:45 – On having his Dad as a professional wrestler.
17:25 – On whether he still watches wrestling.
18:55 – When football became a passion of his.
21:15 – On being recruited from Minnesota to play at Ohio State.
24:55 – What it was like to play with Ohio State
27:30 – One moment that sticks out to him during his playing days at Ohio State.
30:15 – On when he made Jesus the Lord of his life.
36:25 – Is it harder to be a follower of Jesus in college or in the NFL?
41:00 – How becoming a Dad has changed his perspective on his faith.
47:40 – Transitioning from playing to the broadcast booth.
“It is a true grind. I think sometimes a lot of people just assume that we show up, we practice, we watch a little tape, and that’s it. No, we’re constantly being evaluated. It’s a continued evaluation.”
“Everyday is an interview, try not to interview poorly.”
“Being there and saying I played 4 years there was just awesome.”
“There’s nothing that I can do that can make God love me more. It’s mind blowing.”
“Money just escalates who you are.”
“I know I am going to fall short. I’m working on it, I’m trying, but I’m still human.”
“Jesus didn’t just sit there and listen to K-LOVE or Sirius XM’s the Message. He walked with sinners.”
“I used to beat myself up all the time because of my shortcomings. As an athlete, I was judged on my performance. But it’s not like that with grace, and what Jesus did, it’s truly something you have to let go and keep pushing forward.”
“You need to apologize to your kids, even when they are young, because you’re going to make a mistake. Plenty of mistakes.”
“I want them to know that they are loved more than they will ever know.”