Quite a few people are saying that Manti Te’o is only up for awards and especially the Heisman trophy because he’s playing for Notre Dame on a perfect season, but that doesn’t change the fact that he can’t stop winning them, collecting six awards so far, making him the most decorated College Football player of all time.
What has he won in 2012? The Lombardi award, which is given to the best linebacker or linemen in college. The Butkus award, given to the best linebacker. The Bronko Nagurski award given to the best defensive player in the nation. The Walter Camp award, given to the best player overall by the head coaches of the NCAA Division I-A. The Chuck Bednarik award, presented annually to the defensive collegiate football player adjudged by the Maxwell Football Club to be the best in the United States. The Maxwell award, presented annually to the collegiate American football player judged by a panel of sportscasters, sportswriters, and National Collegiate Athletic Association head coaches and the membership of the Maxwell Football Club to be the best football player in the United States.
All this means that Te’o, a senior out of Laie, Hawai’i, has already won more awards in one season than anyone else in the past, beating Charles Woodson’s five from 1997. It also means that despite going up against two quarterbacks in the Heisman voting, Collin Klein and Johnny Manziel, Te’o looks more and more of a favorite to become the first 100% defensive player to win the award.
He’s only the third defensive player, alongside Woodson and Hugh Green, to win the Walter Camp award. He’s also the first ever Notre Dame player to win the Bednarik Award. It still is going to be tough for him to take the major award from Manziel.
While Manziel is a freshman, and voters don’t like to give major awards to freshman, there’s just no ignoring the numbers, record breaking numbers Manziel has put up this season. A consensus All-American, the Aggies quarterback is the odds-on favorite to take home the Heisman, while Te’o is there although not a lot of people understand why.
His numbers are good, but over the years, a lot of other players who have put up the same kind of stats (103 tackles, 1.5 sacks, 5.5 tackles for a loss, 7 interceptions) haven’t even made the first All-America team. Being part of the resurgence of Notre Dame football seems to have taken him a tad above others who might be more deserving of a spot among the final three. He’s already broken quite a few records this past week, collecting awards across the county. Maybe he’s planning on taking home another one and break yet another record this Saturday.