Dec. 6, 2012
NOTRE DAME, Ind. ---- The accolades continue to roll in for members of the top-ranked University of Notre Dame football team. Graduate student Mike Golic Jr. (West Hartford, Conn.) and senior Manti Te'o (Laie, Hawai'i) today were selected as first team members to the Capital One Academic All-America® Football Team which is selected annually by CoSIDA (College Sports Information Directors of America).
Golic and Te'o become the third and fourth student-athletes to earn Academic All-America® honors this fall. Just last month, women's soccer player Elizabeth Tucker garnered first-team honors, while men's soccer standout Harrison Shipp picked up second-team accolades.
Notre Dame ranks second all-time to the University of Nebraska with 227 Academic All-Americans. Te'o, a second team Academic All-America® honoree in 2011, becomes the 10th different Notre Dame football player to earn Academic All-America® recognition on two or more occasions. He also is the first two-time Academic All-American in football since tight end John Carlson (2006 and 2007).
The last time Notre Dame had two football players earn first-team honors in the same year was in 1987 (Ted Gradel and Vince Phelan). Notre Dame has produced 58 Academic All-Americans in football since 1952, third most all-time.
Today's announcement further signifies that Fighting Irish student-athletes are succeeding both in the classroom and on the gridiron. Notre Dame, headed for a showdown with second-ranked Alabama on Jan. 7, 2103 in the Discover BCS (Bowl Championship Series) National Championship game, also ranks first in the NCAA Graduate Success Rate (GSR) figures (released in October 2012) and is the first school in the history of the BCS and the GSR to hold the top spot in both set of standings.
To be eligible for Academic All-America® consideration, a student-athlete must be a varsity starter or key reserve, maintain a cumulative grade-point average of 3.30 on a scale of 4.00, have reached sophomore athletic and academic standings at his/her current institution and be nominated by his/her sports information director.
Since the program's inception in 1952, CoSIDA has bestowed Academic All-America honors on more than 16,000 student-athletes in Division I, II, III and NAIA, covering all NCAA championship sports.
Golic graduated from the College of Arts and Letters with a degree in film, television and theatre in four years in May 2012 and finished with an overall grade-point average of 3.428. Currently enrolled in graduate studies, Golic has started all 12 games at guard on a Notre Dame offensive line that has helped pave for one of the most productive offenses in school history. This year's 2012 squad is the first since the 1977 national championship team to average at least 200 yards on both the ground (202.5) and through the air (218.8). Notre Dame's offensive line also allowed just 15 sacks of Irish quarterbacks this season.
Earlier this season, Golic was selected to the Allstate Good Works Team for being a leader in the local community as well as excelling in the classroom and on the football field.
Te'o, a Heisman Trophy finalist, ranks as one of the most decorated defensive players in Notre Dame history. The Irish linebacker owns a 3.324 GPA and will graduate this month in just three and a half years with a bachelor's degree in design from the College of Arts and Letters.
The backbone of a Notre Dame defense that was instrumental in the Irish finishing the regular season unbeaten with a 12-0 mark, Te'o made 103 tackles to become just the second Irish player in program history to record 100-plus tackles in three consecutive seasons. His seven total interceptions ranks second nationally in that category and he is the first FBS linebacker to intercept that many passes in a season since 2000.
A captain on this year's Irish team, Te'o has been the catalyst for a defense that ranks second in the FBS in scoring defense -- allowing just 10.3 points game. He and his defensive teammates have allowed just 10 touchdowns (nine offensive), four fewer than any FBS school.
Honored by the National Football Foundation as a National Scholar-Athlete and the recipient of the ARA Sportsmanship Award, Te'o's achievements on the field have been recognized with a bevy of awards --the Bronko Nagurski, Butkus and Lombardi -- acknowleding him as the nation's top defensive player and linebacker.