Notre Dame Fighting Irish linebacker Manti Te'o came as close to winning the 2012 Heisman Trophy as any true defensive player in history, but the award was eventually taken home by Texas A&M Aggies quarterback Johnny Manziel. But Te'o told reporters over the weekend that his second-place finish will fuel him as he prepares for the BCS Championship game.
"It's motivation," Te'o told reporters in New York. "I always wanted to be the best. I just use that as motivation too, you know. Just be the best I can be. Obviously I have a lot of work to do. I'm just excited to get back and get things cranking."
(via CSN Chicago)
The Heisman snub was just about the only one that Te'o experienced during college football's awards season, though. He took home six awards this postseason, including the Butkus Award, Bednarik Award and Maxwell Award. Te'o was the first defensive player to win the Maxwell Award since 1980 and the first non-quarterback to take the trophy home in the last nine seasons.
The BCS title game in January against the Alabama Crimson Tide is undoubtedly the top priority in Teo's mind, though. He told the press over the weekend that he would take the National Championship over the Heisman "100 times out 100," and he'll soon get a chance to make that happen.