Nov. 22, 2011
CHICAGO - University of Notre Dame junior Manti Te'o has been named a finalist for the 2011 Butkus Award, presented annually to the top linebacker in college football. Te'o is one of six finalists for this year's award, the Butkus Foundation announced Tuesday.
Te'o leads the Irish with 103 tackles, 11.5 tackles for loss, four and a half sacks and has added one pass breakup. Among all inside or middle linebackers in the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision, Te'o ranks third in sacks and sacks per game, fourth in tackles for loss per game and fifth in total tackles for loss.
A semifinalist for the Lombardi Award and Lott Trophy, Te'o was named first-team midseason All-America by Phil Steele and College Football News and was named to the second team by CBSSports.com and SI.com.
Te'o has started all 11 games for the Irish this year and has recorded career highs in tackles for loss and sacks. In his Notre Dame career, Te'o has totaled 299 tackles, 26.5 tackles for loss, six and a half sacks, five pass breakups and forced one fumble.
In 2008, Te'o was the inaugural recipient of the Butkus Award for the high school division.
Finalists were selected by a panel of 51 coaches, scouts and journalists supervised by Hub Arkus of Pro Football Weekly. This year's winner will be announced on or before Dec. 7.
Butkus Award Finalists
Lavonte David, Nebraska
Dont'a Hightower, Alabama
Jarvis Jones, Georgia
Luke Kuechly, Boston College
Manti Te'o, Notre Dame
Courtney Upshaw, Alabama