December 7, 2012 in Sports

Notre Dame’s Te’o reels in three awards

Associated Press
 

Te’o
(Full-size photo)

Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o has plenty of new hardware for his trophy case after winning three awards on Thursday night, giving him six so far this postseason.

Te’o won the Walter Camp national player of the year award it was announced by the Walter Camp Football Foundation.

The award is voted on by the 124 Football Bowl Subdivision head coaches and sports information directors.

The Fighting Irish senior becomes the third defensive player to win and fourth Notre Dame player to be selected.

Te’o also won the Bednarik Award, given to the nation’s most outstanding defensive player.

He was presented with the award at the Home Depot College Football Awards show at Disney World in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.

The leader of the nation’s top-ranked scoring defense, he had 103 tackles and seven interceptions this season. He is the first linebacker to win the award since 2008.

Finally, Te’o garnered the Maxwell Award, given to the nation’s most outstanding player.

He is the first defensive player to win the award since 1980 and ended a string of nine straight quarterbacks.

Te’o previously won the Butkus Award, Bronco Nagurski Trophy and Lombardi Award.

Te’o is also a finalist for the Heisman Trophy, which will be presented on Saturday.

Other award winners were: Texas A&M freshman star Johnny Manziel (Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award); Wisconsin senior running back Montee Ball (Doak Walker Award); Southern California sophomore wide receiver Marqise Lee (Fred Biletnikoff Award); Texas A&M junior offensive lineman Luke Joeckel (Outland Trophy); Mississippi State senior defensive back Johnthan Banks (Jim Thorpe Award); Louisiana Tech senior punter Ryan Allen (Ray Guy Award); Tulane senior Cairo Santos (Lou Groza Place Kicker Award); and Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly (coach of the year).

Kelly is the first two-time winner, having previously earned the honor in 2009 at Cincinnati.

Around the nation

Head coach Charlie Strong is staying at Louisville. He turned down an offer from Tennessee and will stay with the Cardinals. “It became clear to me that it was best to stay in Louisville,” Strong said at a press conference at the stadium. “We haven’t finished the job yet.”

• The losses keep piling up for the University of Colorado football program. A person familiar with the decision told the AP that Butch Jones has rejected an offer to become the Buffaloes’ next coach. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because Jones hadn’t publicly revealed his decision to stay with the Bearcats at the University of Cincinnati.

• Auburn hired former Southern Miss coach Ellis Johnson as defensive coordinator. New Tigers coach Gus Malzahn announced the hiring of the veteran Southeastern Conference assistant two days after getting the position.

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