Nov. 2, 2011
SOUTHAMPTON, Pa. – University of Notre Dame junior linebacker Manti Te’o was named one of 16 semifinalists for the Chuck Bednarik Award, the Maxwell Football Club announced Tuesday. The Bednarik Award is presented to college football’s best defensive player.
Te’o leads the Irish with 82 tackles, 11 tackles for loss and four and a half sacks. He has already set career highs this year in tackles for loss and sacks. Te’o has recorded at least 10 tackles in six of eight games this year and he leads the Irish in solo tackles, assisted tackles and tackles on running plays.
Among all middle or inside linebackers in the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision, Te’o ranks tied for first in solo tackles for loss, tied for first in solo sacks, second in total sacks, second in total tackles for loss, second in tackles for loss per game and third in sacks per game.
A 2010 Bednarik Award semifinalist, Te’o has already been named a semifinalist for the 2011 Butkus (top college linebacker) and Lombardi (top lineman/linebacker) Awards as well as a quarterfinalist for the Lott Trophy (top defensive player combined with academics and community service). Te’o is one of only three players to appear on the updated lists for all four awards.
The 16 semifinalists for the Bednarik Award are selected by the Maxwell Football Club Advisory Committee. Finalists for the award will be announced Nov. 21 and the winner will be announced at the College Football Awards Show on Dec. 8.
2011 Chuck Bednarik Award Semifinalists
Player, Class, Pos, College
Mark Barron, Sr, DB, University of Alabama
Arthur Brown, Jr, LB, Kansas State University
Vontaze Burfict, Jr, LB, Arizona State University
Morris Claiborne, Jr, DB, Lousiana State University
Lavonte David, Sr, LB, University of Nebraska
Dont’a Hightower, Jr, LB, University of Alabama
Melvin Ingram, Sr, DL, University of South Carolina
Luke Kuechly, Jr, LB, Boston College
Tyrann Mathieu, So, DB, Lousiana State University
Whitney Mercilus, Jr, DL, University of Illinois
Sean Spence, Sr, LB, University of Miami
Devon Still, Sr, DL, Penn State University
Manti Te’o, Jr, LB, University of Notre Dame
Chase Thomas, Sr, LB, Stanford University
Courtney Upshaw, Sr, LB, University of Alabama
Jerel Worthy, Jr, DL, Michigan State University