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VIDEO: Manti Te'o reacts to losing 2012 Heisman Trophy

Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o reacts to finishing second in the Heisman Trophy balloting, handling the defeat as he handles everything -- with class.

Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o did not win the 2012 Heisman Trophy, finishing second to Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel, but remained humble and in good spirits following the ceremony. He has a BCS National Championship to look forward to.

In a video posted by the University of Notre Dame's athletic department, Te'o reacts with relief, slight disappointment and, of course, class.

When asked the question, "Do you think a defensive guy can win?" Te'o responds with a resounding, yes.

Definitely...Over a thousand people thought the same thing. I definitely thought that I could win, and, like I said before, whoever did win, deserves it. And Johnny deserves it. And Collin (Klein) deserves to be there just like Johnny and I did, so congratulations again.

Te'o's tremendous senior season will be remembered in Notre Dame history despite not winning the Heisman Trophy. He recorded 103 tackles and seven interceptions as the anchor of one of the nation's best defenses, leading the Irish to a perfect 12-0 record. As Te'o says, there are more important things than winning individual accolades.

Heisman Trophy or a National Championship, I'll take a National Championship 100 times out of 100.

Te'o and the top-ranked Notre Dame Fighting Irish take on the Alabama Crimson Tide in the BCS National Championship game on Jan. 7 in Miami, Fla.