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Notre Dame LB Manti Te'o No. 2 in ESPN's Heisman rankings

Manti Te'o is currently ranked second in ESPN's latest Heisman rankings, and could be the first defensive player since Charles Woodson to win the award.

Jonathan Daniel

2012 has been a resurgent year for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. The Irish have started out the season 7-0, and are currently ranked No. 5 in the latest BCS rankings.

Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o is also doing his best to put the Irish back in the national spotlight. Teo is second in ESPN's latest Heismanology poll, which does its best to forecast who the Heisman winner will be.

Charles Woodson was the last defensive player to win the Heisman Trophy, winning it in 1997. Ever since then, only quarterbacks and running backs have won the award, with quarterbacks winning 10 of the last 11 years.

Through Notre Dame's first seven games, Te'o has recorded 69 total tackles, and has intercepted four passes. Te'o surprised many by coming back for his senior season rather than declaring for the NFL Draft, but Te'o has done nothing but improve his draft stock -- and has put himself in the running for the Heisman Trophy.