Brian Kelly.

Te'o Named Maxwell, Bednarik and Butkus Finalist

Nov. 21, 2012

Te’o Awards Candidate Page

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – University of Notre Dame senior linebacker Manti Te’o was recently named a finalist for the 2012 Maxwell Award (nation’s best all-around player), 2012 Chuck Bednarik Trophy (defensive player of the year) and 2012 Butkus Trophy (nation’s top linebacker). He is the only defensive player among the Maxwell finalists.

Te’o leads the Irish with 98 tackles and is on pace to become the second Notre Dame player to ever record at least 100 tackles in three different seasons (Bob Crable, 1979-81). He is the third player in Irish history to record 400 career tackles and currently ranks third in school history with 422 stops.

Te’o has recorded six interceptions in 2012, which is tied for second in the Football Bowl Subdivision in total interceptions. He has set a Notre Dame single-season record for most interceptions by a linebacker. In fact, only one FBS linebacker in the past 11 seasons has collected more single-season interceptions than Te’o. He has generated eight total turnovers (six interceptions and two fumble recoveries), which is tied for the second-most by any FBS player. Te’o has actually played a role in 10 of the 21 turnovers forced by Notre Dame’s defense in ’12. In addition to the six interceptions and two fumble recoveries, he has hurried two quarterbacks on plays that directly resulted in interceptions.

Te’o has started 47 career games at Notre Dame, including each of the last 46 contests. That is the longest streak of any linebacker in the nation and fourth longest of any defensive player in the country.

Notre Dame (11-0), ranked No. 1 in the most recent BCS standings, enters this weekend’s matchup with archrival UCS atop the Associated Press and USA Today Coaches polls.

Te’o joins Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein and Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel as finalists for the Maxwell. Georgia linebacker Jarvis Jones and South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney are the other two Bednarik finalists. Te’o, Jarvis Jones, Dion Jordan of Oregon, Kevin Minter of LSU and C.J. Mosley of Alabama are the finalists for the Butkus.

The Maxwell Football Club presents the Maxwell Award to the top college football player in the nation. Four Notre Dame players have been voted the award, with John Lattner winning the award in successive seasons:

1949 TE Leon Hart
1952 HB John Lattner
1953 HB John Lattner
1966 LB Jim Lynch
1977 DE Ross Browner
2006 QB Brady Quinn

Hart was only the second lineman ever to receive the Maxwell Award, named after Robert W. ”Tiny” Maxwell, a Philadelphia native and former All-America guard at Swarthmore and Chicago who went on to a career that included professional football, coaching and sportswriting. The award has been presented since 1937. Brady Quinn won the Maxwell Award in 2006 and was a finalist in 2005.

Instituted in 1985, The Butkus Award® is one of the elite individual honors in college football. The Butkus Foundation, a 501c3 non-profit organization, took stewardship of the award to fully realize the original purpose of honoring athletic achievement and service to the community while honoring the nation’s best college linebacker. Michael Stonebreaker finished third in 1988 and 1990. Courtney Watson was one of three finalists for the award in 2002, losing to eventual winner E.J. Henderson of Maryland.

Te’o is the first Notre Dame player to be named a finalist for the Bednarik Trophy.