Te’o wins Lombardi AwardPublished 1:50am Thursday, December 6, 2012
HOUSTON (AP) — Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o won the Lombardi Award on Wednesday as college football’s best lineman or linebacker.
Te’o, also a Heisman Trophy finalist, had 103 tackles and seven interceptions this year to help the undefeated Fighting Irish reach the BCS championship game against Alabama.
“It’s the big dance,” Te’o said about the title game. “It is something that you dream about when you are little and for me to be in that game and playing against a real good Alabama team, it will be a perfect end to this chapter in my life.”
Te’o edged Alabama offensive lineman Barrett Jones, Georgia linebacker Jarvis Jones and South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney for the award presented by the Rotary Club of Houston.
“You look at my highlights and you look at their highlights, I’m a big fan of their highlights,” Te’o said.
“When you look at the company I am with — Jarvis, JC, Barrett — all guys that have proven themselves many, many times. For me to walk away with it, I am just very, very grateful. All of those guys are deserving of the trophy as well, so it is just a great experience and great opportunity for me.”
On Monday, Te’o won the Dick Butkus Award as the best linebacker, and the Bronko Nagurski Award as the nation’s top defensive player.
Te’o will be in New York on Saturday for the Heisman Trophy presentation. The other finalists are Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel and Kansas State’s Collin Klein, both quarterbacks.
“It’s special for me because I get to represent Notre Dame and represent my family on the national stage, and so, I am just very excited,” Te’o said. “I am very excited to get to know those other two guys.”
Eifert claims Mackey
BETHPAGE, N.Y. (AP) — Notre Dame’s Tyler Eifert has won the John Mackey Award that goes to college football’s best tight end.
Coming into the season, Eifert was regarded as the best receiver for the Fighting Irish and drew extra attention from opposing defenses. Nonetheless, Eifert had 44 receptions for 624 yards and four touchdowns as the top-ranked Irish finished the season unbeaten. His reception late in the game against Michigan iced a 13-6 Notre Dame victory.
A senior, Eifert is Notre Dame’s all-time leading receiver among tight ends and has also been praised for his blocking.
The Nassau County Sports Commission announced the award on Wednesday, which is named for the late Hall of Fame tight end and Long Island native John Mackey.
Clowney captures Hendricks Award
CHICAGO (AP) — South Carolina’s Jadeveon Clowney has won the 2012 Ted Hendricks Award, becoming the first sophomore chosen as the nation’s top defensive end.
Clowney set a school record for sacks (13), tackles for loss in a season (21 1-2) and sacks in a single game (4 1-2 vs Clemson). He was chosen for the All-Southeastern Conference team earlier this week.
The other finalists were Morgan Breslin from Southern California, Tank Carradine and Bjoern Werner from Florida State, Sam Montgomery from LSU and Damontre Moore from Texas A&M.