Nov. 28, 2012
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - University of Notre Dame senior linebacker Manti Te'o has been named to the 2012 All-American first team by the American Football Coaches Association and he also was selected among five finalists for the Walter Camp Football Foundation Player of the Year Award.
Te'o (Laie, Hawaii/Punahou) would be the first exclusively defensive player to win the player of the year award since Hugh Green of Pittsburgh in 1980.
Te'o becomes Notre Dame's 186th All-American first team selection. A National Scholar-Athlete by the National Football Foundation and finalist for the Nagurski Award, Lombardi Trophy, Maxwell Award, Bednarik Award, Lott Trophy, Butkus Award, Te'o has recorded 103 tackles, seven interceptions, 5.5 tackles for loss, four pass breakups, two fumble recoveries and 1.5 sacks.
Te'o is the second Notre Dame player to ever record at least 100 tackles in three consecutive seasons. He likely will become the third player to ever lead the Irish in tackles over three straight seasons.
Te'o ranks second in the Football Bowl Subdivision in interceptions. No FBS linebacker has collected more interceptions in a season since 2000. Only one player in the FBS has directly forced more turnovers than Te'o (nine). In fact, he has played a role in 11 of the 23 turnovers forced by Notre Dame (seven picks, two fumble recoveries and two quarterback hurries that promptly led to interceptions).
Te'o is the first Notre Dame player named an All-American by the AFCA since Golden Tate in 2009 and first defensive player since defensive back Shane Walton in 2002. He is the first Irish linebacker to garner such an honor since Michael Stonebreaker in 1988.
The Walter Camp Player of the Year winner will be announced on Dec. 6.