NOTRE DAME, Ind. - University of Notre Dame senior linebacker Manti Te'o won the Rotary Lombardi Award on Wednesday as college football's best lineman or linebacker. He is the second player in college football history to capture the Butkus, Nagurski and Lombardi awards in the same season.
Te'o recently became Notre Dame's 186th first-team All-America
selection (AFCA). A National Scholar-Athlete by the National Football
Foundation, Te'o also is a finalist for the Heisman Trophy, Maxwell
Award, Bednarik Award, Walter Camp Player of the Year and Lott Trophy.
If Te'o were to receive any three of the following five awards -
Maxwell, Bednarik, Walter Camp, Heisman or Lott - he would take home an
unprecedented six major college football awards.
Former Michigan cornerback Charles Woodson captured five awards in 1997 (Bednarik, Nagurski, Thorpe, Walter Camp and Heisman).
The Maxwell, Bednarik and Walter Camp will be announced during
Thursday's 2012 Home Depot College Football Awards show which will air
on ESPN at 7:30 p.m.
Te'o is the fifth Notre Dame player to capture the Lombardi - joining defensive end Walt Patulski (1971), defensive end Ross Browner (1977), nose guard Chris Zorich (1990) and offensive tackle Aaron Taylor (1993).
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.
Top-ranked Notre Dame will play second-ranked Alabama on January 7, 2013, for the BCS National Championship.