Oct. 16, 2012
NEWPORT BEACH, Ca. - Notre Dame All-American linebacker Manti Te'o has been named the Lott IMPACT Player of the Week for the third time this season.
The leader of the formidable Irish defense, Te'o had 11 tackles and spearheaded a dramatic goal-line stand as Notre Dame remained undefeated at 6-0 with an overtime victory against Stanford Saturday in South Bend, 20-13.
"Those are the moments you dream of," said Te'o afterwards.
Te'o becomes the second player to ever win the Lott IMPACT Player of the Week award three times in one season, joining J.J. Watt of Wisconsin who did it in 2010. Watt went on to win the Lott IMPACT Trophy that year and is now an NFL standout with the Houston Texans.
The journey for Te'o through this revival season at Notre Dame has been an emotional one, having lost his grandmother and girl friend early in the season and playing last week in front of his parents, Brian and Ottilia, for the first time this season. Through it all, he continues to play at a high level and lead an Irish defense that has now not yielded an offensive touchdown in four straight games - against Michigan State, Michigan, Miami and Stanford.
Te'o has 59 tackles this year, six passes defended, three interceptions and two fumble recoveries.
In recognition of his performance, the Pacific Club IMPACT Foundation, sponsors of the Lott IMPACT Trophy, will make a $1,000 donation to the general scholarship fund at Notre Dame.
Previous winners of the Lott IMPACT Player of the Week in 2012
Week One - Bjoern Werner, Florida State