Joel Klatt believes that new Ohio State graduate assistant James Laurinaitis may be preparing for a bigger role within the Buckeyes’ coaching staff.

Laurinaitis, an 3-time All-American at Ohio State, is just beginning his coaching career. He was a graduate assistant at Notre Dame in 2022 before moving back to Columbus earlier this offseason.

Klatt said on Wednesday that he sees a lot of similarities between Laurinaitis and Ohio State offensive coordinator Brian Hartline, who has become one of the top assistant coaches in the country. Hartline was OSU’s receivers coach from 2018-2022 before being promoted this offseason.

Like Laurinaitis, Hartline is a former Buckeye standout who also has NFL experience as a player.

“It begs the question … is there a way to recruit the safety position, the linebacker position in a similar fashion that you’ve been able to recruit the wide receiver position?” Klatt said. “Nobody in college football has owned the wide receiver position in recruiting like Brian Hartline and Ohio State. And when you look at Brian Hartline, you bring a guy back with NFL experience, not a lot of coaching experience, but good energy, smart player, played at the school. And he turned into an absolute force on the recruiting trail and built the best wide receiver room in college football.

“And I think what they’re envisioning for James Laurinaitis is that he is the defensive version of Brian Hartline.”

Here’s video of Klatt’s full comments:

Laurinaitis is expected to assist in coaching Ohio State’s linebackers in 2023.

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