Sophomore K Nick Tausch.

Preseason Accolades Keep Rolling In For Irish Football

Aug. 27, 2010

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Notre Dame sophomore kicker Nick Tausch, senior tailback Armando Allen, junior defensive end Ethan Johnson, sophomore inside linebacker Manti Te’o and junior tight end Kyle Rudolph have been named to the respective preseason watch lists for the Lou Groza (Tausch), Doak Walker (Allen) and Lombardi Awards (Johnson, Rudolph and Te’o).

Tausch (Plano, Texas) connected on 14 of 17 field goals and 27 of 30 point-after touchdowns in 2009. He totaled 69 points, second most on team, and even converted 14 consecutive field goals over one stretch to break Mike Johnston’s school record of 13 consecutive made field goals (1982). Tausch also set a school record for most field goals made in a game without a miss when he converted all five field-goal attempts against Washington. He split time on kickoff duty and averaged 61.8 yards on 35 kickoffs.

Tausch is one of the four sophomores among the 30 kickers listed for the award overall.

The Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award announces its 20 semifinalists on October 29. From this list, a panel of over 300 experts selects the top three (3) finalists for the award by November 22. That same group then selects the national winner, which will be announced December 9, during the Home Depot ESPNU College Football Award Show, broadcast live from Orlando, Fla.

The 19th Annual Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award, presented by the Orange Bowl Committee, recognizes the three (3) finalists during an early week celebration in Palm Beach County, culminating with a gala awards banquet on December 7, prior to joining ESPN in Orlando.

Allen (Opa Locka, Fla.) has started 19 of 33 games played at Notre Dame and gained 1,630 yards on 362 carries (4.5 yards per carry) with six rushing touchdowns. He has caught 102 passes for 695 yards and three touchdowns.

Allen ranks second at Notre Dame in all-time receptions by a running back (Darius Walker, 109) and has the seventh-most receiving yards in a career by an Irish running back. He has recorded three of top 11 total reception seasons by a Notre Dame running back (50 in 2008 ranks second all-time, 28 in 2009 is tied for seventh and 24 in 2007 ranks 11th).

Allen was used as kickoff returner over his first two seasons and totaled 1,247 return yards on 54 returns (23.1 average). He returned a kickoff 96 yards for a touchdown against Hawaii in the 2009 Hawaii Bowl. Allen has also completed both career pass attempts for 15 total yards (10 yards at UCLA in 2007 and five yards for a touchdown against Michigan State in 2009). He ranks ninth on the school all-time list for career all-purpose yards with 3,638 (trails Raghib “Rocket” Ismail by 550 yards for fifth all-time; needs 1,377 yards to supplant Tim Brown for fourth).

The PricewaterhouseCoopers SMU Athletic Forum Board of Directors will select the semifinalists on November 10, and the Doak Walker Award National Selection Committee will cast votes to determine the finalists, who will be announced on November 22. The Committee will cast a second vote beginning on November 29 to determine the recipient. The National Selection Committee consists of former NFL All-Pro and college All-America running backs, media members and selected special representatives.

The recipient of the 2010 Doak Walker Award will be announced live on ESPN on The Home Depot ESPNU College Football Awards on Thursday, December 9. The Doak Walker Award Presentation Banquet will be held at the Hilton Anatole Hotel in Dallas, Texas, in February 2011.

Johnson (Portland, Ore.) has played in all 25 games of his Notre Dame career and started 15 contests. He has registered 50 career tackles, 11.5 of which have been for loss including 7.5 sacks. Johnson has also added three pass breakups, two fumble recoveries and one forced fumble.

Rudolph (Cincinnati, Ohio) enters his junior season as one of the most prolific tight ends in Irish football history. He has totaled 62 receptions for 704 yards and five touchdowns while starting 22 of 23 games played in a Notre Dame uniform. He ranks fifth in career catches by a tight end and each of his 2008 (29) and 2009 (33) reception totals rank among the top 10 in single-season school history. Rudolph is just 296 receiving yards shy of eclipsing 1,000 for his career. He would be the fourth tight end in Irish history to accomplish the feat.

In 2009, Rudolph was the lone sophomore named a semifinalist for the Mackey Award. He recorded 33 catches for 364 yards and three touchdowns in the season’s first 10 games. Rudolph missed the ensuing two games (Pittsburgh and Connecticut) due to a shoulder injury and failed to register a reception in the season finale at Stanford.

Rudolph, a preseason Mackey Award selection, has already been named first team preseason All-American by Sporting News, Yahoo! Sports and Lindy’s, and Athlon listed him as a third team preseason All-American. Phil Steele, Athlon and Linday’s also ranked Rudolph as the nation’s top tight end.

Te’o (Laie, Hawaii) played in every game of his freshman season in 2009 and started 10 contests. He recorded the third-most tackles ever by an Irish freshman and ranked fourth on team with 63 stops. Te’o added 5.5 tackles for loss, 1.0 sack and one pass breakup.

Eligibility for the Rotary Lombardi Award is limited to down linemen, end-to-end, either on offense or defense, who set up no farther than 10 yards to the left or right of the ball, or linebackers who set up no farther than five yards deep from the line of scrimmage.

The Rotary Lombardi Watch List, intended as a reference tool for the Selection Committee, will be periodically updated and revised through the conclusion of the voting to determine the 12 Semifinalists for 2010.

— ND —