Senior linebacker Manti Te'o was recognized as Notre Dame's MVP at the team's annual awards ceremony Friday at the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center in South Bend, reported JJ Stankevitz for CSN Chicago.
The recognition makes sense given that Te'o is one of three finalists for the Heisman Trophy, which will be awarded Saturday night in New York City. The competition consists of Texas A&M freshman quarterback Johnny Manziel, considered the early favorite to win college football's most prestigious individual award, and Kansas State senior quarterback Collin Klein.
Te'o led the Fighting Irish with 103 tackles and also intercepted seven passes, second-best in the nation and the most for a linebacker, in leading Notre Dame to its No. 1 ranking and a berth in the BCS championship game Jan. 7 against No. 2 Alabama. On Monday he won the Butkus Award, given to the nation's top linebacker, and is trying to become the first defense-only player to win the Heisman and Notre Dame's first winner since Tim Brown in 1987.
Here's a full list of the 19 awards handed out by Notre Dame:
- MVP: Manti Te'o
- Offensive Player of the Year: Tyler Eifert
- Defensive Player of the Year: Zeke Motta
- Special Teams Player of the Year: Kyle Brindza
- Offensive Lineman of the Year: Zack Martin
- Moose Krause Defensive Lineman of the Year: Louis Nix III, Stephon Tuitt
- Next Man In Award: QB Tommy Rees
- Rockne Student-Athlete Award: LB Danny Spond
- Pietrosante Award: John Goodman, Robby Toma
- Father Lange Iron Cross Award: Braxston Cave
- Count On Me Award: Theo Riddick
- A-Team Award: Kapron Lewis-Moore
- Irish Around the Bend Award: Mike Golic Jr.
- Offensive Newcomer Player of the Year: Everett Golson
- Defensive Newcomer Player of the Year: KeiVarae Russell
- Offensive Scout Team Player of the Year: Nick Fitzpatrick
- Defensive Scout Team Player of the Year: Tyler Stockton