There's a general rule about defensive players and name recognition: if you don't regularly accumulate sacks or interceptions the media will not notice you. There are exceptions, but that pretty much sums up life as an linebacker in a 4-3 defense.
It can be argued that no player had more of an impact on the overall performance of the St. Louis Rams defense than MLB James Laurinaitis. His work captaining the unit this year help them turnaround seasons of woeful play.
Animal Jr.'s season wasn't recognized by many, but the good people at Pro Football Focus did put him on their All-Sophomore team. For an in-depth breakdown of Laurinaitis' contributions this season, check out this post from our friends over at Rams Herd.
Laurinaitis has super star written all over him, and I suspect by this time next year he'll be a household name...at least in the houses of football fans.