NOTRE DAME, Ind. - University of Notre Dame senior linebacker Manti Te'o was honored with the 28th annual collegiate Butkus Award® Monday. The announcement came in a surprise telephone call by legendary linebacker and award namesake Dick Butkus and his son Matt. A presentation is planned for December 17 on the Notre Dame campus as part of an "I Play Clean" workshop series.
Te'o was selected by a panel of 51 coaches, recruiters, scouts and journalists coordinated by Pro Football Weekly.
embodies the toughness, intensity, competitiveness and on-field
demeanor of a throwback performer like Dick Butkus himself," said Hub
Arkush of Pro Football Weekly. "Te'o was the first ever High School
Butkus winner (2008), and he has lived up to all the expectations and
positioned his team for a chance at the national championship. He has
been an inspiration to his team and community, and serves as a model
Te'o finished with 83 points in the Butkus Award voting system.
Finishing second was Jarvis Jones of Georgia (54 points) and third was
C.J. Mosley of Alabama (21 points). Kevin Minter of LSU and Dion Jordan
of Oregon were tied for fourth.
Te'o leads the Irish with 103 tackles. He is the second Notre
Dame player to ever collect at least 100 tackles in three consecutive
seasons (Bob Crable,
1979-81). Te'o is the third player in Irish history to record 400
career tackles and currently ranks third in school history with 427
Te'o has recorded seven interceptions in 2012, which is tied for
second in the Football Bowl Subdivision in total interceptions. He has
set a Notre Dame single-season record for most interceptions by a
linebacker. In fact, no FBS linebacker in the past 11 seasons has
collected more single-season interceptions than Te'o. He has generated
nine total turnovers (seven interceptions and two fumble recoveries),
which is tied for the most of any FBS player. Te'o has actually played a
role in 11 of the 23 turnovers forced by Notre Dame's defense in '12.
In addition to the seven interceptions and two fumble recoveries, he has
hurried two quarterbacks on plays that directly resulted in
Te'o has started 48 career games at Notre Dame, including each of
the last 47 contests. That is the longest streak of any linebacker in
the nation and fourth longest of any defensive player in the country.
Te'o already became Notre Dame's 186th All-American first team
selection (AFCA). A National Scholar-Athlete by the National Football
Foundation and finalist for the Heisman Trophy, Nagurski Award, Lombardi
Trophy, Maxwell Award, Bednarik Award, Walter Camp Player of the Year
and Lott Trophy.
Notre Dame will play Alabama January 7, 2013, for the BCS National Championship.